Investment in J&K Fell 55% in 4 Years, Abrogation Year Was the Worst: MHA Data
From Rs. 840.55 crore in 2017-18. investment has fallen to Rs 376.76 crore in 2021-22, reveals MHA data.
The Quint DAILY
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Investment in Jammu and Kashmir has declined by over half in the last four years, data released by the Ministry of Home Affairs has revealed.
The total investment in 2021-22 was Rs 376.76 crore, down from Rs 412.74 crore in 2020-21 and a massive drop of 55 percent from Rs 840.55 crore in 2017-18, according to data provided by Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai in the Lok Sabha on 13 December.
Rai gave this data in response to a question from MPs Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Ramapati Ram Tripathi and Brijbhushan Sharan Singh.
Partly the decrease may have been due to the second COVID-19 wave. However, that may not be the only explanation as the sharpest fall in investment actually took place in the two financial years preceding the pandemic.
Decline Post Abrogation of Article 370
One of the reasons given by the Narendra Modi government for doing away with Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir was that the restrictions on purchasing land was preventing a great deal of investment from coming into the erstwhile state.
However, MHA data reveals that investment has actually fallen since the revocation of Article 370 in 2019.
The worst year in terms of investment in Jammu and Kashmir was 2019-20, which also corresponds to the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status. The total investment that year was Rs 296.64 crore, down from Rs 590.97 crore in 2018-19.
The 2018-19 figure was itself a major drop compared to the previous year's investment of Rs 840.55 crore.
The 2018-19 financial year corresponds to the imposition of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir - first due to the breakdown of the BJP-PDP alliance and subsequently the dissolution of the Assembly.
Centre's Claims Exposed, Say JKNC and JKPDP
Reacting to the MHA's data, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said, "The figures lay bare the failure of the central government to match what it has been projecting post 5 August 2019, when Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was unilaterally and unconstitutionally abrogated.”
“We were told that a bright investment climate was in the offing. It was claimed that special status was nothing but an impediment which didn't allow the region to prosper."Tanvir Sadiq, JKNC chief spokesperson
According to Sadiq, the decisions of August 2019, "have failed to proper growth on all variables" and the only increase has been in "unemployment, development deficit and administrative inertia".
Speaking to The Quint, JKPDP spokesperson Mohit Bhan said, "The entire country was lied to by saying Article 370 was nothing but an impediment which didn’t allow J&K to grow. Those who believe that numbers reflect the reality on ground should have all the answers looking at this massive decline in investment."
"The key highlights post abrogation of Article 370 & 35 A - Unemployment at its peak, people across Jammu and Kashmir suffering at the hands of corruption, be it job scams or basic amenities. Horticulture which the backbone of the local economy and affiliated sectors are begging for relief and have been left on the ventilator"
Bhan said that the biggest problem post-abrogation has been "administrative rigidity" which has "pushed Jammu and Kashmir back by several years".
According to the MHA, the government has taken steps to boost investment such as the New Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Policy 2021-30, Jammu & Kashmir Private Industrial Estate Development Policy 2021-30 and Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Land Allotment Policy 2021-30.
It has also said that unemployment has declined since the last financial year.
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