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Mehbooba orders pushing infra creation at LoC trade points

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today ordered to fast track the creation of additional infrastructure at the trading points along the Line of Control so that the trade could be shifted from barter to banking system.

Mehbooba orders pushing infra creation at LoC trade points
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Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu

With RBI's nod to shift from barter to banking system for cross-LoC trade, the Chief Minister has ordered fast-tracking of creation of additional infrastructure at Salamabad in Uri and Chakan da Bagh in Poonch, the two trading and travel points across the LoC, an official spokesman said.

Industries and Commerce (I&C) Department Secretary Shailendra Kumar assured that work will commence in May and full-body scanners will be installed at both the trading points within next 12 to 18 months.

On the issue of rehabilitation of sick units, the chief minister was informed that not much headway has been made as the component of interest subvention was not incorporated in the soft loan scheme.

I&C Secretary said an Assets Reconstruction Company has been proposed with a corpus of Rs 15 crore which can target revival of 50 per cent of sick units.

On being asked about the status of upcoming Leather Processing Centre at IGC Lassipora, I&C Secretary said that after signing of Memorandum of Understanding, detailed project reports have been framed and the work on the common facility centre is presently going on.

The Centre, he said, will become functional in the next nine months.

Inviting suggestions on promoting industrial sector in Ladakh, the chief minister advised the department to focus on handloom, handicrafts and food precessing sectors which are area-specific to the region.

The I&C Secretary told the meeting that a Pashmina Project worth Rs 50 crore has already been sanctioned.

On promotion of fabled handicraft and handloom products in Kashmir valley, Kumar apprised the chief minister about the Modern Carpet Loom Scheme on a 80:20 sharing basis between the Centre and the State.

Under the scheme, he said 8,000 looms will be distributed amongst the weavers to boost sales and quality of products.

The chief minister stressed upon introduction of new designs, branding and price tagging of the products so that the threat posed by fake products sold under brand Kashmir name is nullified.

The chief minister also directed to devise a revival plan for the silk factory at Solina, which she said is a heritage treasure trove.

She was also apprised about the e-commerce model that I&C Department is jointly working on with online retailers to expand the market base of the world-famous handicraft and handloom products.

The online retailers will be dovetailed with Handloom and Handicrafts Corporations facilitating better returns for the artisans.

The I&C Department is targeting registration of 1,500 artisans on e-market to boost their sales.

On the poor financial health of I&C PSUs like JK Cements, JK Minerals and JKI, Mufti advised the department to take all possible steps in making them viable for broadening the scope of their activities.

She was informed that after initial slowdown, there has been uptick in JKCL with its production going up with a target turnover of Rs 150 crore.

On JKML, I&C Secretary informed the meeting that Parlanka Gypsum mine will start production shortly while the possibility of a joint venture for sapphire mine at Padder is being explored after the requisite environment clearance is obtained.

On making gypsum mine at Uri functional, the meeting was informed that MoEF (Ministry of Environment & Forest) has framed a state-level committee to fast-track environmental clearances, which will pave the way for major and minor mineral exploration through private and government agencies.

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