J&K LG Murmu Invites Investors, Says Communication Restrictions Temporary

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The Lieutenant-Governor of Jammu and Kashmir G.C Murmu on Monday highlighted the investment opportunities in the state amid concerns on the current communication lockdown saying, the restrictions including the internet ban were “temporary.” The statement comes during an event in Delhi in the run-up to the first ever Three Day Investor Summit scheduled in Srinagar in April.

Murmu said that the state constantly grabs headlines for negative reasons like militancy and terrorism which are not conducive to foreign investment. However, according to him, ground realities are not the same and “Externally sponsored militancy is well under control”. He further clarified that approximately 10 per cent of the area is affected by militancy while the rest is perfectly normal. He added, “We are tackling those pockets and will ensure safety and security in a systematic manner.”

The Lt. Governor was questioned by delegates on the possible impact of communication restrictions on the capacity of trade in the state. Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam replied to the query stating that several relaxations on the same will be implemented soon. Further, K.K Sharma, Advisor to the Lt. Governor told The Hindu that the state had a substantial mining reserve which could be exploited for production. He said, “J&K has reserves of limestone and gypsum that we can exploit for production. For that, we are revamping the policy; industrialists from J&K can participate. The land allotment policy will also be revised. The Internet has been suspended for a limited period, it will not be a long time before it is restored.”

On August 6, the government abrogated Article 370 which granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir by bifurcating it into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. It has been under a communication clampdown for the last 5 months with a full restriction till date on the use of the internet.

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