A day after Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal denied promising to return projects to Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of Finance Dr. Haseeb Drabu claimed that state government is working out modalities with the government of India for the return of two power projects from NHPC.
“The state government is working out modalities on how to get at least two power projects from NHPC. Several discussions have taken place between GoI and J&K government on the issue and there is a broad-based consensus at the highest level,” Dr Drabu said. Finance Minister said that transfer of power projects has been under discussion for the last decade or so and it has been backed by recommendations of the Working Groups appointed by the Prime Minister as well as PM’s high level task force on J&K headed by former RBI Governor Dr. C.Rangarajan.
He said that government is working to evolve a model in which the power projects can be transferred without affecting the market value and shareholders of NHPC, a listed company which manages the projects in the state. Ahead of the J&K Assembly Budget Session 2016-17, Dr Drabu held a series of marathon meetings with representatives of business bodies.
Finance Minister said that state government has put new industrial policy on hold following directions of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the policy will be revised in accordance with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. “I have been asked by the Chief Minister to address the concerns expressed by various stakeholders on the Industrial Policy and the upcoming Budget will be industry and trade- friendly which will help the local entrepreneurs and business peoples,” he said.
“Following the directions of the Chief Minister, we are working on a comprehensive roadmap to be incorporated in the Budget 2016-17 aimed at promoting and expanding the industrial activity in J&K in tune with the State’s distinct features,” he said and added that the Government will try to come up with some key measures in the budget for industrial development in conformity with J&K’s development needs and socio-economic objectives.
“The government mulls measures aimed at improving the competitiveness and capabilities of local entrepreneurs and promoting structural transformation in the industrial sector,” he said and added that the government had envisaged a policy to hand over industrial estates to industry associations with a proper corporate governance structure. We need business bodies to augment the efforts of the state government so that we can expand the industrial landscape of the state,” Dr Drabu said.