Article 370: Dalmia ready with J&K investment plans (IANS Exclusive)

By P.K. Jha

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) More and more industrialists are lining up with investment proposals in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and changed its status making it into two union territories.

After Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, Dalmia Group chairman Sanjay Dalmia has shown interest in investing heavily in the state. He said he is ready with his plans of investments and will hand over a proposal to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next two months.

In and exclusive interview with IANS, Sanjay Dalmia said: "I am working on an action plan to create more employment opportunities in the newly created union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and will hand it over to the Prime Minister in next two months."

Dalmia said his action plan includes reviving a factory in Jammu which has been closed for many years.

"I was very keen to invest in Jammu and Kashmir earlier also, but I changed my mind as the rulers there did not show any interest in bringing investment to the state," Dalmia told IANS.

"I sought appointment with the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir then, but did not get it even after waiting for 3-4 months", Dalmia said.

He, however, refused to divulge which Chief Minister he was talking about.

"Outsiders could not buy land there as Section 370 was imposed, but there was no restriction on setting up industries. In spite of this, still industrialists did not want to go there as the mainstream leaders did not show any interest. In fact, they wanted to keep the people of Jammu and Kashmir unemployed," Dalmia said.

Sanjay Dalmia fully supported the government's move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution bifurcating the state into two union territories and said that now the time has come to increase employment opportunities in the state.

"The youths will stop throwing stones, only when they get employment", he said.

Born in Lahore in 1944 before the partition of India, Sanjay Dalmia is a graduate in Economics from Delhi's St. Stephen's College and has been associated with industry bodies like FICCI and Assocham for a long time.

For the time being, Dalmia said he has made an online portal dedicated to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to sell their products outside their state.

He said there are various sectors where investments are required in Jammu and Kashmir but he said he will be involved in the sector in which his expertise lie.

--IANS

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