Jindal steel has laid foundation stone of its first investment project in Jammu and Kashmir. A Rs 150-crore steel processing unit in Pulwama is the first such project being set up after special status to the state under Article 370 of the Constitution was scrapped in 2019.
Sajjan Jindal, chairman of JSW group, tweeted photos of a prayer ceremony of the foundation stone at Lassipora Industrial Estate in Pulwama district.
"Proud to announce that we have laid the foundation stone for our new steel processing unit in Pulwama - the heart of Kashmir. Contributing to the growth of the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir," Mr Jindal tweeted.
Proud to announce that we have laid the foundation stone for our New Steel Procesisng unit in #Pulwama - the heart of #Kashmir !— Sajjan Jindal (@sajjanjindal) February 16, 2023
Contributing to the growth of the beautiful state of #JammuKashmir@TheJSWGroup@PMOIndia@manojsinha_@AmitShahpic.twitter.com/4y7hBH86In
Almost two years ago, the Union Territory administration had granted 8.75 acre to JSW Steel.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has been talking about receiving proposals worth Rs 70,000 crore for investment. But these have remained largely on paper.
After foundation ceremony by Jindal Steels, the BJP government in the centre is finally walking the talk on development.
"Now development is visible on the ground. To all the leaders who used to say that nothing is visible on the ground, Lassipora is proof. The BJP does what we say we will do," said BJP spokesperson Abhijeet Jasrotia.
Many have welcomed Mr Jindal's tweet. More investors are expected to follow.
"Wonderful to see the upcoming industry in Kashmir, with others to follow suit. The JSW Group steel processing plant will create jobs, boost growth, and bolster infrastructure -transforming the developmental and investment potential of the region. A big step for the people of Jammu and Kashmir," tweeted Amitabh Kant, former chief executive of NITI Aayog.
In December, the government told parliament that over Rs 1,000 crore investment has come to Jammu and Kashmir since 2019.
But investments certainly took a back seat since 2019 when Article 370 was scrapped.
The parliament figures belie the administration's claims and there was a huge mismatch.
Figures released by the government in parliament show that in 2017-2018, Rs 840.55 crore investment came to Jammu and Kashmir.
After 2019, it began to decline. In 2019-20, it was Rs 296.64 crore; Rs 412.74 crore in 2020-2021 and in 2021-22, it was down to Rs 376 crore.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged the government's claims of investments are false and mere photo ops.
"When the central government on the floor of parliament accepted that there is consistent decline in investment - from Rs 840 crore in 2017 when we were in power to Rs 376 crore in 2021-22, what more needs to be said? I think these are all photo ops," PDP spokesperson Najmu Saqib said.