Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister vows industrial growth of state


New Delhi : The northern most Indian state Jammu and Kashmir, which has been plagued by terrorism for more than two decades, appears to be moving towards normalcy now.

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In the last State polls, held in December, people in the state gave a blind eye to militants threats and voted in large numbers. And, now the new State Chief Minister Omar Abudullah has vowed to increase the pace of development in his state in areas like industry, tourism, agriculture and overall socio-economic development.

On Saturday he announced setting up of a joint Task Force with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to work on the promotion of industry in Jammu and Kashmir.

While Abdullah will be the Chairman of the CII-Government Task Force, its members will be prominent industrialists and national-level figures, local CEOs, economists and State Government officials.

According to a CII press release, the Task Force will also have a Working Group under it, headed by the Chief Secretary and co-chaired by the CII. Members of this Working Group will be select CEOs and Government officials. The Secretariat for the Task Force and Working Group will be CII, added the press release.

While setting up the Task Force, Abdullah is learnt to have said that his top priority is improving skills of the youths in his state to enhance their employability, in tune with the present and futuristic job market requirements. He said his high priority areas include “creation of human capital” so that any investment in the state also helps the youth in getting employment opportunities.

To achieve this objective, CII will invest USD 0.2 million in various skill development initiatives.

Jammu and Kashmir is one of the few Indian states battling with the menace of terrorism, which began in early 1980s. With active support from across the border (read Pakistan) militancy soon spread across the state, as a result to which the Hindus were forced to leave their abodes in and around Kashmir to peaceful areas like New Delhi and other surrounding towns.

In the state elections held in December 2008, voting percentage was recorded at more than 60 percent despite threats from militant groups. The voting trend showed that people in the state wish to shun terrorism and look forward to peaceful life, overall development and employment opportunities. The state appears to make progress under the leadership of new Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who became the youngest chief minister the state has ever had, at the age of 38.