The Lieutenant-Governor’s administration in Jammu & Kashmir is pushing hard to convince Dubai-based investors to explore investment possibilities in the Union Territory, even as JSW Steel Ltd. and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd. became the first major corporations to buy land for their projects after the reading down of Article 370 in 2019.
The possession of 70 kanals of land (8.75 acres) has already been handed over to JSW Steel Ltd. in Pulwama’s Lassipora industrial area to set up a ₹150-crore steel plant, officials in the J&K Industries and Commerce Department said. Sources said around half of the land will be used for landscaping. The project is to cater to the local demand only, and is likely to emerge as the top player in the sector.
A team from Apollo Hospitals, which is setting up a 250-bed super speciality hospital in the Jammu region, has identified a few “feasible locations” in and around Jammu district for its project. The L-G administration has already earmarked 100 kanals (12.5 acres) at Jammu’s Miran Sahib for a medi-city, which will accommodate the country’s top health sector corporates to invest here.
In Kashmir, a few outside health sector companies have shown interest in the medi-city coming up on 368 kanals (46 acres) in Sempora of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district “but no proposal has been finalised yet”. Around 14 local groups have also shown equal interest to invest in the medi-city.
Meanwhile, around 2,512 applicants from J&K have also shown readiness to invest in around 17 varied sectors in the Union Territory to boost investment capital, mainly in the information technology and horticulture sectors.
The L-G-led administration is also banking on big ticket groups from Dubai to meet its investment target of around ₹44,000-plus crore. Representatives of the Dubai ports giant DP World, which is considering an inland port in J&K to ship products made in the Union Territory to outside markets, is visiting a 250-acre site earmarked for the inland port facility in the Jammu region.
According to the J&K administration’s figures, an investment of approximately ₹3,000 crore from industrial giants like Emaar, Lulu, MATU Investments, Al Maya Group, GL Employment Brokerage LLC, Century Financial, Noon e-commerce, etc. has been agreed upon during the recently-held Dubai Expo 2022.
Besides, one letter of intent was also signed with Magna Waves Private Limited along with the Emaar Group and Lulu International, which is interested in coming up with a mall and an inland port in Kashmir.
Officials said investment of ₹18,300 crore is likely to come in the real estate sector, “as Dubai-based companies see a potential in the sector”. The UAE’s pioneering financial services company, Century Financial, is likely to invest $100 million in J&K on three hotels, and one commercial-cum-residential complex. The company is owned by Bal Krishen, originally from J&K’s Doda district. The J&K administration has heavily liberalised its industrial and land policy by amending rules to make the UT an “investors paradise”, officials added.