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A ray of hope in Rahul's corporate push in Kashmir

Thursday October 04, 2012 10:05:07 PM, IANS

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Srinagar: Ahead of the interaction between a galaxy of the country's corporate bosses and students of Kashmir University here Friday, local businessmen and industrialists are hopeful of investments in the state.

Speaking to IANS, Abdul Hamid Punjabi, chairman of the local chambers of commerce and industry, said: "Hopefully they are coming to explore investment opportunities in Kashmir."

"We badly need corporate investments to create job opportunities and give a boost to the local economy. Biggies of Indian corporate world coming to Srinagar is definitely welcome, I hope their high profile visit proves beneficial for the local economy."

In what is a first since independence, the who's who of India Inc, including Tata Group chairperson Ratan Tata and Aditya Birla Group's Kumar Mangalam Birla, Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj, Wipro Group chief Azim Premji and HDFC's Deepak Parekh, would interact with the students along with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Sources at the Taj Vivanta resort here confirmed that Ratan Tata and other leaders of industry would arrive here Friday morning.

"Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi would be present during tomorrow's (Friday's)interaction to allay fears of the corporate bosses about future investments in Kashmir," sources in the Congress told IANS.

Gowhar Maqbool, a local hotelier, said: "Kashmir has a huge investment potential in tourism, healthcare, IT, handicrafts and agriculture. The only problem is that we need the first positive step in this direction from the captains of industry."

"Once that happens, sky would be the limit for outside investments in Kashmir. Kashmir has all the potential to become the investors' heaven," he said.

"On the face of it, it needs to be seen as a welcome step because it can give an impetus to our economy," said Sheikh Ashiq, a leading entrepreneur and presidential candidate for Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Kashmir Hoteliers Club general secretary Syed Masadid Shah termed it a "very good sign for the Valley's industrial sector as it can bring investments into the state".

Shah, who runs the prominent food chain Moti Mahal, said: "Collaborations can give good business provided they do not hamper the basics of the Kashmir economy."

During his visit to Kashmir University last year, Gandhi had promised to bring leaders of country's corporate world and persuade them to invest here.

Many students during a free and frank interaction with Gandhi expressed fears about their future since Kashmir had very few employment avenues in the private sector.

"I promise to bring in the leaders of country's corporate world so that they start their ventures in Kashmir," Gandhi said last year.

"He has stood by his promise. Now what remains to be seen is whether the corporate bosses take investment opportunities in Kashmir seriously," said a student of the university, a day before the interaction.







 

 

 

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