Will Kashmir issue impact business investments in India?


By Dasari Sreenivasa Rao for NewsMeter Network

There is concern that revoking of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) will have negative impact on business investments in the country. Few tweets expressed, that there could be a possible dip in investments. However, experts have ruled out these apprehensions.

Speaking to News Meter an economist said, “Considering the business potential in the valley and future course of development in the state, as promised by the Centre, I hope it will further boost the Indian economy. When peace is restored in any part of the country, it will have a positive influence on the rest of the nation.

Media reports from the valley are already highlighting the possible recovery of the real estate market. Earlier people from other states could not buy land or a house in the valley. Now, it’s like any other state in the country.

A report in a financial daily said, “Thanks to the scrapping of Article 370, property prices are set to go up by a minimum of 50 per cent. The current property prices average around Rs 2,400 per sq ft in Srinagar, which is less than tier-2 cities in the rest of the country.” Affordability coupled with the potential to develop tourism is set to attract business investments in real estate in J&K.

A CEO of a Hyderabad-based drug company, on condition of anonymity said, “In the past two days the Indian stock markets did not responded to the issue. Trading was impacted due to the weakening of the Chinese Yuan.”

A former president of an industry chamber said, “Kashmir has been a burning issue for 70 years. Despite the disturbance in J&K and the alarming situation along the border with Pakistan, India has grown significantly in comparison to our neighbouring countries. After the economic reforms were introduced in 1992, the flow of investments into India have been encouraging.”

The average earning capacity of a Kashmiri is less than half of the average Indian’s income, which is Rs 8,000 per month. However, it is still higher than the average per capita income in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar about a decade ago. But, in the past decade states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have improved significantly. 

The fears of a war with Pakistan and its impact on business investments was also brushed aside. A local representative of an industry chamber said, “There have been several instances of a war-like situation along the border and nothing major happened to the industry.”

Forget Article 370, India has faced five wars since Independence and there have been no major consequences on business or investments.

“Scrapping Article 370 for J&K will not impact the country. In fact, it’ll benefit the Kashmir valley economically,” said the CEO of a Hyderabad based pharma company.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s role will be significant, and the Centre will have to play a more responsible role in transforming Kashmir into a vibrant economy.

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