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India Lines Up $2.88 Bn Investment for Kashmir Within a Year of Revocation of Special Status

© REUTERS / Charlotte GreenfieldSigns displaying area distance are seen at a hilltop post during a trip organised by the army, near the Line of Control (LoC), in Charikot Sector, Kashmir July 22, 2020
Signs displaying area distance are seen at a hilltop post during a trip organised by the army, near the Line of Control (LoC), in Charikot Sector, Kashmir July 22, 2020 - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): On 5 August 2019, the Indian parliament abrogated the decades-old temporary special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which the latter cherished for so long under Article 370 of the country's constitution. The article allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have a separate constitution, penal code, and legislation for itself.

The Indian government has lined up investment to the tune of $2.88 billion for Kashmir within a year of the revocation of Article 370 of the country's constitution, which granted special status to the erstwhile state.   

Of the total investment, $1.81 billion has been lined up from global investors. As many as 168 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) have been signed for investment in 14 sectors, a document from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has revealed.

The 14 sectors that have been identified for investment include tourism, food processing, infrastructure, energy, apparel, biotechnology, handicraft, poultry, and education, among others.  

The document states that in preparation for an upcoming global investment summit to be held in Kashmir in October, road shows have been held in seven cities. The government has also identified space for setting up industry and has acquired 2,428 hectares of land.

A source from India's External Affairs Ministry told Sputnik on condition of anonymity that the revocation of the special status has actually facilitated the acquisition of land for development projects. 

“Abrogation of Article 370 as well as changes in various state specific laws have now enabled us to acquire land in the state and make faster investment decisions for growth and development. Apart from the large Indian industrial and business houses, we are also in talks with friendly nations to make investments in the state”, the source stated.

In the last one year, the J&K Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation has raised $1.07 billion to complete long-pending unfinished projects.

According to the ministry's document, a total of 2,273 projects worth $797.2 million have been sanctioned. Of these, a total of 506 projects have been completed, while 963 worth $300 million are scheduled to be completed by March next year.

On the education sector front, Jammu and Kashmir, which is now a federally administered union territory, has started 50 colleges and added 25,000 additional college seats in the last one year. On the jobs front, the administration has initiated the largest-ever recruitment drive. At least 10,000 youths will be given government jobs in the first phase, while 25,000 more jobs are in the pipeline, according to the MEA.

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