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Unrest in valley affects hosiery, carpets, handicrafts sector adversely
14
Aug '08
The ongoing agitation in J&K region has hit its industry severely with its economy suffering cumulative losses of over Rs.1,500 crore in the last couple of weeks, according to estimates arrived at The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

In a statement, the ASSOCHAM President, Mr. Sajjan Jindal appealed to pall political parties including religious groups of all hue and cry to find an amicable solution to existing crisis so that normalcy is restored in the state and violence shunned, in the absence of which the industrial losses will mount manifold.

The worst hit industrial sectors include tourism, fruits, hosiery, carpets, handicrafts, dry fruits, tourism, forest based products and herbs and herbal products, said Mr. Jindal adding that in the last one and half months, the exports from the region has failed to meet its national and international commitments.

According to ASSOCHAM, the exports from the Jammu region suffered by minimum 30% in view of ongoing agitation on account of which movements of goods particularly fruit and other items have come to virtual halt.

The silk industry, handicraft industry, leather products, fruit juice concentration and processed food have also suffered enormously.

The ASSOCHAM Chief warned that if the agitation goes on, the economy of the Jammu & Kashmir will suffer major jolts as the investors that have committed over Rs.5000 crore worth of investment for fiscal 2008-09 would depart to other destinations in neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Mr. Jindal further said J&K has been offering boundless investment opportunities to prospective investors as its rich resources of water, agro forest, herbal and minerals etc. were being found of great use.

The state which was returned to normalcy with law and order situation well within the control of its administration had witnessed 10 times increase in investment proposals from around US$ 200 million in 2001 to more than US$ 2300 million in 2007.

As per forecast made by Chamber, this investment would multiply many times but agitation of this nature discourages investors and therefore, peace and tranquility must prevail in the entire J&K region to ensure that its industrial prospects are not derailed, said Mr. Jindal.

According to recent ASSOCHAM Study, Jammu & Kashmir otherwise was poised to attract fresh investments volume of Rs. 28,000 crore with export potential of around Rs. 13,000 crore by 2012 and create employment opportunities for 25 lakhs as also re-emerge as the best tourist destination.

But, the continuation of ongoing agitation seems to have marred the projections, pointed out the ASSOCHAM Chief.

As per estimates made by ASSOCHAM, the State of Jammu & Kashmir could be highly prospective in terms of fetching investments in areas such as Food Processing- agro-based industries, Floriculture, Handicrafts, Leather Processing and leather goods, besides Sports, Forest-based industry, Processing of aromatic plants and herbs, Pharmaceuticals based on herbs, Bulk drugs, Hosiery and made-ups.

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India

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