While an overall fillip to the state’s economy is expected, the removal of Article 370 will also uplift an otherwise bogged down state due to lack of concrete steps in the past.
The BJP government’s decision to scrap Article 370 will bring more jobs to Kashmir as the move will drive investment in all sectors and industries, a hoteliers’ body said. While an overall fillip to the state’s economy is expected, the removal of Article 370 will also uplift an otherwise bogged down state due to lack of concrete steps in the past, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) & Vice President, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), said in a statement. The bill to abolish Article 370, which conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was passed in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Around 50-60% of Jammu and Kashmir’s population is engaged in the Hospitality and Tourism sector or ancillary activities. The sector contributes about 15-20% to state GDP but the state has not fared well in harnessing its true potential. “Despite Kashmir ticking all the right boxes as a Hospitality & Tourism magnet, its presence and business in the state are dismal,” Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said. With the abolishment of the said article, more private educational institutions will also open and the state will see more revenue rolling in, eventually, he added.
Meanwhile, Jammu’s small trading body Chamber of Traders Federation has also cheered for the government move. As the abolition of Article 370 also means the abolition of toll tax, the traders’ union said that the same has been their long-time demand and hence they welcome the government’s decision, said CTF President Neeraj Anand. Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also echoed the same and said that the scrapping of the Article will help in unlocking the real trade potential of the state. “We can foresee a great future ahead for all the people as the doors to development have been opened,” CAIT General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal said, adding that with the withdrawal of the section, “trade in Jammu and Kashmir will be more strong and the potential for business and trade will increase tremendously.”
Jammu and Kashmir has been bifurcated into two Union Territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.