Jammu and Kashmir Government with support from central government has categorized certain industrial sectors with growth potential and market avenues in the state and has declared them as thrust areas. All the benefits to these sectors will be available even outside industrial estates. Both the governments provide special assistance, incentives and benefits for investing in these particular sectors. The rationale behind choosing these sectors is the availability of the raw material and consumption of the manufactured and produced goods within the state.
The thrust area industries development has been given priority under, both Special Central Package for J&K and recently approved state’s own J&K Industrial Policy-2016.
Document of J&K Industrial Policy states, “ There is huge scope in the state for taking up manufacturing activities in the field of food processing, meat processing – both mutton and chicken – , leather, pharmaceuticals, wood based industries, sports goods, high grade raw silk, woolen fabrics, computer/ electronics and information technology.” It also states that J&K has good market for the consumer goods given its population has crossed 1.25 crore, besides a vast floating population in terms of tourists, yatris etc.
As per the official data J&K imports goods worth about Rs 40,000 crore with more than 60 percent of it consumed in Kashmir division. Therefore to tap the market with local production to boost the state economy, provide employment and utilize the state resources to avoid flight of capital, the promotion of these thrust industries has been key focus of the government in the new industrial policy.
Food Processing and Agro Based Industries:
About 75 percent of the population in the state is still earning its livelihood from the agricultural and allied activities. More than 90 percent of the state’s fruit is exported raw and unprocessed to different states within India and outside.
Under this category a vast number of industrial activities including some cottage industries have been classified. These include: sauces and ketchups; fruit juices and fruit pulp; jams, jellies, vegetable juices, purees, pickles etc.; processing of fresh fruits, fruit waxing, packaging, and grading; flour mills and rice mills; spice grinding; pasteurization and processing of milk and other diary products.
Leather Processing: J&K being on top of the per capita meat consumption in India leaves it with hundreds of thousands rawhides – a main source of leather-manufactured goods. These hides mostly go out of state unprocessed in absence of tanneries and other leather processing units. Though some activity of semi-processing due to establishment of few tanneries has started but there are not any substantial leather goods manufacturing units. To encourage leather processing and goods manufacturing the sector has been kept in thrust area.
Silk: Kashmir was once famous for the silk it produced and goods it manufactured from the silk. It has given competition to world’s best silk producing places like China. But now the case is not the same. The silkworm rearing as well as manufacturing of the silk products has dwindled over the years. This is therefore again a sector, which has huge potential for startups.
Wool: Kashmir not only produces the best quality wool but also consumes number of finished goods from the wool due to cold weather conditions. However, all the processing and manufacturing from spinning is mostly done in the factories of Amritsar and Jalandhar.
Woven Fabrics of Cotton: Given the consumption of cotton products and its easiness in installation of manufacturing units and procuring raw material, it has been put under thrust area.
Floriculture: Processing of medical plants, cut flowers and green houses come under this scheme.
Computer Hardware: Electronics: integrated circuit and micro assemblies.
Sports Goods: Manufacture of any sports goods, articles and equipment for general physical exercise.
Exploration of Minerals: Mineral based industry, gypsum, plaster of Paris with chip boards, granite and marble cutting and finishing, cutting and polishing of gems and making of jewellery.
Eco Tourism: Hotels, houseboats and resorts; adventure and leisure sports; amusement parks; cable cars and guesthouses.
Packing Industry: Items like adhesive taps, strapping rolls, pet bottles, cardboard corrugated boxes, plastic container caps, HDPL bottles, drums, barrels, cans, ROPP caps for bottles, woven sacks and HDPE fabric.
Stationary Items: Notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, geometry boxes etc.
Wood Based Industry: Manufacturing of plywood, ply board, core veneer, pencil locks, slates, joinery, furniture and paneling.
Auto ancillaries and precision engineering.
Bottling of Mineral Water.