Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aftermath of Amarnath

Amarnath agitation of 2008 affected industrial growth

44.42% industrial units go missing!

Srinagar: The Amarnath land row which had affected among other things tourism,
education and trade besides consuming more than 60 lives, also proved very costly for industrial growth in the Jammu and Kashmir where already 44.42 percent industrial units are ‘missing’ on ground.

According to official figures available here only 1.92 percent increase was registered during 2008-09, lowest since 2001-02 in the Jammu and Kashmir, where 44.42 percent industrial units are untraceable as per the census conducted last.

However, the result of the latest survey conducted during the year 2008 by Government of India (GOI) Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are awaited.

According to Directorate of Jammu and Kashmir Industries and Commerce (DJ&KIC), only 971 Small Scale Industrial (SSI) units were registered during the year 2008-09, lowest since 2001-02.

The slow SSI growth of 1.92 percent during the 2008-09 was mainly due to the political disturbances that affected severely the entire economic life in the state.

According official figures 2005-06 witnessed all-time high growth of 3 percent of SSI in the state followed by 2004-05 when it was 2.50 percent, 2006-07 - 2.49 percent, 2002-03 - 2.31 percent, 2003-04 - 2.17 percent, 2007-08 - 2.12 percent and lowest 1.92 last year.

The last census conducted about two decades ago surveyed 36510 units in the state.
Surprisingly the census found 16219 units, which constitutes 44.42 per cent of the total SSI units, were untraceable while 4840 which was equitant to 13.26 percent were closed and 306 were found sick.

It said that only 15145 units, which constitutes 41.48 percent were functional.
Most of these untraceable units are those that are registered on paper only in order to take advantage of the incentives given to the SSI units.

According to survey conducted by the Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI), Ahmeadabad, 32.71 percent units became sick due to financial crunch, 30.55 percent due to law and order and other problems, 19.40 percent due to marketing problems, 9.24 percent due to raw material unavailability and 8.10 percent due to migration.

Ministry of MSME, GOI, conducted 4th All India census last year, officials said adding the survey was being processed and the results are expected soon.

The survey will give a complete picture of the present status of the Micro, Small and Medium Establishments in the state.

However, according to figures available here, 23908 SSI units are functional as on March 2009, providing employment to 99031 persons.

It said on an average of four persons are working in each SSI unit in the state.
The number of sick units which was 13.26 percent when the last census was conducted has increased to 16.06 percent now in the state.

As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the number of sick units in the state was 16.06 percent, financed by banks and financial institutions so far.

Highest number of 116 identified sick units are in Srinagar district followed by Jammu 96, Udhampur 44, Baramulla 20, Badgam and Kathua 19 each, Anantnag 16, Pulwama 13, Kupwara six, Poonch five, Rajouri three and Doda two.

For rehabilitation of sick units, the state government has accepted to provide soft loan to the extent of 30 percent of total requirement to potentially viable sick units for their revival under rehabilitation policy.

However, out of the total 359 sick units, 68 units were approved by the State Level Rehabilitation Committee (SLRC) for a soft loan of Rs 9.05 crore. Soft loan of Rs 3.86 crore was provided to 32 units while another 5.19 crore stands approved in favour of 36 more units by SLRC.

It said that DJ&KIC, which is the nodal agency at state level for implementation of the central and state packages of incentives to industrial units, has provided various incentives amounting to Rs 57.66 crore to units during the period 2003-04 to 2008-09

(Kashmir Images)

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