J&K administration offers investors ‘uninterrupted’ Internet, WiFi access

IT policy document highlights low crime, clean air in Union Territory.

Updated - February 10, 2020 08:16 am IST

Published - February 09, 2020 08:24 pm IST - New Delhi

The sprawling Information Technology (IT) hub at Rangreth in Budgam district, on the outskirts of Srinagar. File

The sprawling Information Technology (IT) hub at Rangreth in Budgam district, on the outskirts of Srinagar. File

The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government is highlighting good quality air and low crime rate in the newly created Union Territory to attract investors.

As per the J&K Information Technology (IT) Policy 2020, the administration is offering an incentive to IT companies to operate in three-shifts and to facilitate women working during the night by provided transportation and security. At least 15% of “plug and play” premises in designated IT parks will be reserved for women entrepreneurs, the policy says. The policy document says J&K contributes only 0.1% of the total cognisable crimes under the Indian Penal Code.

The policy document shared with investors says that two IT parks with an area of five lakh square feet are being developed in Jammu and Srinagar which will have “dedicated and uninterrupted broad band connectivity and wi-fi access.”

Investment opportunities in 14 sectors in the Union Territory were unveiled at an investor conference in the national capital last month.

Internet has been snapped in the Union Territory since August 5 last year when Home Minister Amit Shah moved two bills in the Rajya Sabha to revoke the special status under Article 370. Following Supreme Court directions, 2G mobile connectivity was restored in J&K last month with access only to 301 government-approved websites.

Connecting panchayats

The policy says that “as a special dispensation for IT units, the land allotment would be decided on top priority” and the government would encourage private sector participants to become Internet service providers to enable high speed Internet connectivity in all panchayats of J&K.

The Real Estate Policy states that a vast land bank owned by the government would be disbursed to “private developers” through a transparent bidding process.

Minister’s assurance

The Home Minister had told a delegation from J&K on September 3 last year that “only government land would be used to establish industries, hospitals and educational institutions” and “nobody's land would be taken away.”

Participating in the debate in Rajya Sabha on August 5, Mr. Shah had said no industry could be set up and tourism could not develop in J&K because of restrictions on land purchase due to Articles 370 and 35A. The two revoked provisions of the Constitution let the J&K Legislature decide the “permanent residents” of the State, prohibiting a non-J&K resident from buying property in the State and ensuring job reservation for its residents. Several groups in Jammu have demanded domicile rights amid fears of losing land and jobs to outsiders.

“The existing land acquisition laws would be amended to incorporate the landowners as stakeholders in the housing development….the authorities without going into the compulsory land acquisition will either partner with private players on equity basis or facilitate land assembly by acquisition or pooling through private players as done by other development authorities in other States,” the policy said.

The developers will have to reserve 20% dwelling units in group housing projects for economically weaker section and lower income groups.

The UT of J&K is offering 100% exemption on stamp duty, land use charge, permission, construction and processing fee for the housing for Economically Weaker Section and LIG groups.

The policy says that government will persuade the National Housing Bank, HUDCO, financial institutions, commercial banks and insurance sector to extend the network of operations in J&K to provide affordable housing credit to people.

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