Srinagar: For the first time in the history of Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory has recorded its first Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Emaar, a real estate company has come up with a mall in the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of UT.
The scrapping of Article 370 on August 05, 2019, has paved the way for foreign investments in Jammu and Kashmir, which is set to bring smiles to the faces of educated but unemployed youth, who were forced to move from pillar to post in search of employment in the past several decades. However, in a first, a Foreign Direct Investment of whooping INR 250 crore has been made in Srinagar outskirts where "Mall of Srinagar" is being built by UAE-based Emaar, a real estate company.
The foundation stone of the project was laid by the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha at the Sempora area in Srinagar outskirts.
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha termed the first-ever FDI a historic day for Jammu and Kashmir.
The Mall of Srinagar will be constructed on the 10 lakh square feet area at Sempora, Srinagar.
Lt Governor Sinha announced that Emaar has decided to invest a whopping INR 500 crore across Jammu and Kashmir.
A ceremonial foundation stone laying also known as 'Bhoomi Poojan' was conducted at the event.
"The Mall of Srinagar and allied projects with the government of Dubai will fuel the economic growth of Jammu and Kashmir and bring the region closer to achieving the shared vision of strengthening bilateral trade and investment ties between UAE and India. By creating jobs and attracting new businesses to our union territory, we are laying the foundation for a stronger and more prosperous future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir," a government statement read.
The Mall of Srinagar is expected to open its door to residents of the city by 2026 and is expected to create nearly 13,500 jobs.
The FDIs are generating hope among the youth here as the opening of new industries and business outlets would help the local unemployed people to earn their livelihood.
Emaar is just the beginning as 2023 would likely witness further Foreign Direct Investments here.
According to the government, there are foreign investment proposals worth almost INR 3,000 crore including from the Lulu group.
Sources privy to the development said that the process to start the business units by foreign investors here has been started, but it takes time to complete the procedure.
"After the abrogation of Article 370, the J&K government has received many proposals, but the process was delayed due to the Covid outbreak that led to the deaths as well as the imposition of lockdown as well," they said.
They further added that after Emaar, J&K would witness more such direct investments, which would not only change the developmental scenario but would also bring relief to the unemployed youth.
The new mall coming up in Srinagar outskirts has generated hope among the youth, saying that such initiatives are the need of the hour to end the unemployment in Jammu & Kashmir.
"The initiatives taken by the government in a bid to provide more employment avenues to the educated youth is quite appreciative. We are expecting more initiatives like Emaar's investment so that the unemployed can be assisted to earn bread and butter for their families," Rayees Ahmad, one of the unemployed youth said.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha on Sunday, performed the 'bhumi pujan' and laid the foundation of a 10 lakh square feet shopping mall on the outskirts of Srinagar, being constructed by Dubai-based Emaar group.
The 'Emaar Mall' is 10 lakh square feet in size, in which the Emaar and Magna Waves Buildtech have launched 'Mall of Srinagar', the first international mall in Jammu and Kashmir.
In 2022, J-K received a record investment of Rs 1547.87 crore highest ever compared to any previous financial year. The investments during the past five years stood at Rs 840.55 crore in 2017-18, Rs 590.97 crore in 2018-19, Rs 296.64 crore in 2019-20, Rs 412.74 crore in 2020 and Rs 21, 376.76 crores in 2021.
In the next five years, the government is expecting more investments in important sectors like manufacturing, service sector, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, agro-based industry, tourism (including film and medical tourism) etc.
The various policy initiatives that have been taken by the government to make J-K vibrant include Industrial Policy 2021-30, Industrial Land Allotment Policy 2021-30, Private Industrial Estate Development Policy 2021-30, Wool Processing, Handicrafts and Handloom Policy 2020.
In the past three years, PM Modi-led dispensation has changed the very concept of development and progress in Jammu and Kashmir. The centre's decision to end the 70-year-long status quo has opened up new vistas of employment for the denizens of the Himalayan region.
The big corporate houses which are coming to J-K with huge investments are employing locals and offering them good salary packages. These units are harnessing the talent to build their base in a region which they see as a potential place to expand their business.
For seven decades, no outside investment came into J-K which led to it falling behind the other states and union territories in the country.
In the past three years, the Himalayan region has received investment proposals from national and international business houses and the government has encouraged them by providing all the possible support.
To promote ease of doing business in J-K, the government has announced economic packages, incentives for investors, operation of night flights from Jammu and Srinagar etc.
For seven decades private investment of only Rs 17000 crore was made in J-K, while it has crossed Rs 40,000 crore mark during the past three years.