Jammu: Underlining the state government`s objective of promoting industrial development, Jammu and Kashmir minister Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo today said clearance had been given to an ambitious Rs 160 crore magnesite plant in Reasi district, which had been stuck for 23 years.
Responding to a discussion in the Assembly on grants for the various departments and PSUs under his charge, the minister of state for industries and commerce said "the plant at Panthal (in Reasi district) which was stuck for 23 years, has now been cleared to exploit huge reserves of dead burnt magnesite in the area."
Kichloo said employment generation was the top priority for the National Conference-Congress coalition government and added that it has been made mandatory for enterprises to employ local youth in a fixed proportion.
Talking about the need to create awareness among the youth about incentives and packages available to them under central and state industrial policies, Kichloo said the government was going to launch vigorous campaigns at the block, tehsil and district levels for the purpose.
Kichloo then hailed the single-window system for clearances which had aided in the setting up of 722 micro and small-scale units in the state.
He said that an Apex Project Clearance Committee headed by the chief secretary had been constituted to clear projects with an outlay of Rs 5 crore and above.
Responding to points raised by Assembly members, the minister said 457 sick units had so far been revived with assistance of about Rs 3.70 crore while 19 new industrial estates are being developed in the state.
Nine of those would be in Jammu while the rest are to come up in Kashmir, raising the total number of industrial estates in the state to 67.
Kichloo also informed the House about a novel handicrafts promotion initiative launched under the Artisan Credit Card scheme to provide credit facility of up to Rs 1 lakh for artisans at nominal interest rates.