Why policy faced criticism from all quarters

Srinagar: From lawyers to politicians to civil society pressure groups all in one voice rejected the Industrial Policy approved by the administrative council when the state was under Governor’s Rule.
Legislator and former Minister Hakeem Muhammad Yasin said that if anybody thinks that outside investment will generate local employment then he is living in a fool’s paradise. “All of us know what has been happening in NHPC. The Corporation avails the services of outside labourers and even they have brought engineers from outside states,” Yasin said.
  He added that it is very unfortunate that the people at the helm of affairs who talk about the protection of special identity of the state do not take cognizance of serious issues that are aimed at to change the demographic character of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. 
According to the noted industrialist and civil society activist Shakeel Qalandar the decision is politically motivate as every Kashmiri has a right to suspect this new Industrial Policy that is aimed at to discourage the local entrepreneurs. “I fail to understand what this government is up to and why on cost of locals it is trying to woo non-local investors. The fact is that local investors are ready to invest here but the state government has created bottlenecks for them and was doing nothing to encourage them,” he said.
Qalandar said that the Industrial Policy 2016 is defective while one fails to understand how it was framed without taking stakeholders on board. “The major defect of this policy is that it is silent on the upper ceiling of the land to be leased out. “Non-local investors can acquire land anywhere outside the Industrial area and will set up factories. Government will come up with acquisition notices to pave way for their factories in Jammu and Kashmir. This is something fishy and there is not an iota of doubt in this fact that this policy is politically motivated,” he said.
 Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) chairperson Nayeema Hameed said that it is the agenda of BJP to attack the special status of Kashmir from all sides. “This party has been using bureaucracy to fulfill it’s sinister designs here and if it will continue to pursue anti-Kashmir policies, it will face stiff resistance from the people,” she said.
 AIP chief and MLA from Langate, Er Abdur Rashid termed the New Industrial Policy approved by Governor “as a direct interference in the constitutional rights of state.” He said there is no doubt that industries are backbone of any society or state but the policy framed by Governor is simply a step to erode the autonomy of the state and ensure backdoor entry of non-state subjects into the state.”
 He said the Governor should have left the policy to the civil government “but in a suspicious way he formulated it to serve the interests of New Delhi. Facts and figures reveal that local entrepreneurs in J&K have technical and financial capacity and capability to establish huge industrial states in the state, but Delhi-controlled bureaucracy is always reluctant to facilitate even a small scale industrial unit by local educated unemployed youth,” he said. 
Former Member Parliament Abdul Rashid Kabuli said that the contentious policy needs a revisit. “Let state government put all its behind the local entrepreneurs and encourage them for investment. History is witness to the fact that outsiders have never been loyal to this Sate unless they find the business lucrative here. Even after exempting non-local investors from excise and income tax under Industrial policy 2002, the investment was on Rs 3,000 crores and this investment was concentrated in two districts of Jammu only. Government must declare this controversial policy null and void and frame a new policy while taking all the local stake holders on board,” he said.
J&K High Court Bar Association has also expressed resentment to the Government policy of allowing of lease of land to non-state subjects terming it another ploy to diminish and thereby destroy the Muslim majority character of the state, because through what it termed as ‘sinister mechanism’, outsiders will not only be allowed to enter the state and remain here on long term basis, but they will also marginalize the local business community by settling in the State alongwith their men, material and machinery permanently. 
“The new industrial policy for J&K is an extension of all those provisions of law which have been applied to the State of J&K from 1947 onwards, so as to erode its identity and character” Bar said in a press statement. 
“The so called claim behind new industrial policy as propounded by the Govt. that it will increase the avenues in the Govt. sector is totally false and actually and in reality its purpose is to fulfil the nefarious designs of Govt. of India to pave way for the settlement of the non-state subjects of the state on permanent basis which if allowed will be a catastrophe for the people of the state and more particularly for the Muslim population, as such the said policy should be opposed by one and all. At the same time the business community of the State should concentrate on establishing their units all over the state so that the Govt. of India does not get a chance of bringing the people from outside for the said purpose in the state and destroy their Muslim majority character and the identity of the state”. 
Bar Association alleged that the seed of ‘sinister design’ was sown in 1975 when Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah assumed the reins of power and immediately thereafter, firstly amended The J&K Land Grants Act and then substituted clause (a) of section 140 of J&K Transfer of Property Act by Act no. VII of 1975, which allowed the mortgage of immovable property and land in favour of Life Insurance Corporation of India; Industrial Corporation of India; Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India; Housing and Urban Development Corporation New Delhi; Union Trust of India; Industrial Development Bank of India or to any other bank included in the schedule appended to the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 and having an office in the State.
In 2002, when Mufti Mohammad Syed, was in power, The Land Grants Act was further amended and interms of proviso thereof, the restriction of not granting land to the non-state subjects was ordered to be relaxed in the name of so-called Industrial and Commercial Development or in favour of a registered Charitable Society Established for a non-profitable purpose or such registered Educational Institute of Specialized Higher Education as the Govt. may specify and in order to achieve the said oblique motive, the operation of the provisions of Transfer of Property Act prohibiting such transfer was also excluded.
In 2004 the restriction of selling the mortgage property and land only to a permanent resident, was also relaxed by providing that the mortgage property shall be sold or transferred to a permeant resident of the state or to any Financial Institution or Corporation managed and owned by Govt. of India’ the statement read

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