In a significant move, Jammu and Kashmir’s finance minister Dr Haseeb A Drabu Saturday signed the first ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) agreement with Dubai Ports (DP) group CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem in Dubai.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and crown prince of UAE, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Presidential palace.
Taking on to Twitter, Dr Drabu wrote about the development, “Very privileged to have signed the first-ever FDI MOU on behalf of the J&K govt with the @DPWorld in the presence of our PM & PM of UAE!”
Reacting to the tweet, BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav termed it as the great news. “At a time when Jammu was under terrorist attack comes a great news of first FDI inflow into J&K. Dubai n J&K Govt has signed an MoU in d presence of PM Modiji in Dubai today for investment in a dry port at Jammu,” he tweeted.
The agreement involves a pact for a joint a joint venture involving maiden Rs 1,500 crore FDI for setting up inland logistic hubs in the state of J&K.
The details of MoU were finalized earlier when Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the Group Chairman of DP World accompanied by his top officials had the detailed meeting with Dr Drabu led team in Jammu.
During their visit, Sulayem and his team visited Bari Brahmana in Jammu to access the ground situation. DP group operates more than 77 marine and inland terminals across 40 countries,
Earlier in his budget speech, the man behind the idea Dr Drabu said that the there were two basic reasons for the development deficit of the state: cost structure and the missing multiplier.
“Being geographically disadvantaged, the cost structure of our economy is high which impacts margins of all small businesses making them operate on wafer-thin margins. Any shock to the system renders them unprofitable and they fall into a debt trap and are unable to service their borrowings,” Drabu said, adding the only way-out was to create a logistics network that will reduce the logistics costs from existing 30 percent to below 10 percent.
“A well-developed logistic sector will not only increase our trade activity across all sectors but will also enhance the competitiveness of our businesses. I propose to change the relationship between the level of economic development (as measured in terms of GDP per capita), the composition of the state economy and logistics costs by proposing one dry port in Jammu and another one in Kashmir.
Drabu announced in his budget that the state government has moved forward on this and have an in principle understanding with the Government of Dubai. “The government of J&K and the logistics arm of the Government of Dubai, DP World, will get into a joint venture partnership for construction of a logistics hub, including an integrated dry port in the state,” he said.(KL)