Heavy dependence on outside supplies drains J&K economy: Parvez Ahmed

Heavy dependence on outside supplies drains J&K economy: Parvez Ahmed

“Government has not carried recruitment drive in animal husbandry for decades. There are employment drives for teachers and police personnel every now and then while animal husbandry sector is neglected.”

Stressing on local production which can help reduce state’s whooping Rs 40,000 core imports, chairman and CEO of J&K Bank Parvez Ahmed on Saturday said heavy dependence on outside supplies is draining local economy and leading to flight of capital. 

“We are importing goods worth Rs 40,000 crore annually. We can stop this flight of capital by investing in sectors which have a potential to grow despite the fragile situation in the state. One of such sectors is agriculture which cannot only retain flight of capital but also generate employment,” Ahmed said. He was speaking at a daylong conference on J&K’s poultry sector organised by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

On poultry sector, he said it has a huge potential and can provide employment to around 1.4 lakh people. “J&K Bank will provide customized schemes for the poultry farmers and also take up the issue of insurance of their production with insurance companies.”

Principal Secretary, animal husbandry department, Asgar Samoon decried lack of attention towards the agriculture sector. “Buildings owned by animal husbandry department at various places have been occupied by security forces. We don’t want to end up being a police state. Therefore, there is need to lay emphasis on this primary sector.”

“Government has not carried recruitment drive in animal husbandry for decades. There are employment drives for teachers and police personnel every now and then while animal husbandry sector is neglected.”

Samoon also lambasted banks for their step-motherly treatment towards farmer community. “Bank are ready to give crore of rupees loan to rich and influential people, but look downwards towards poultry farmers. You can get loan for a car at home, but poor poultry farmer who wants to setup his own unit is treated badly,” Samoon said.

“Majority of the funds are meant for roads which develop pot holes within months, while as primary agriculture is not paid any heed. If you see prime minister’s package, majority of the funds are meant for roads. I am not saying don’t build roads, but at least pay attention towards this sector as well.”

Principal Secretary, industries and commerce department, Shailendra Kumar said that poultry sector can fetch J&K an investment of Rs 5,000 crore. “Only Kashmir consumes chicken worth Rs 930 crore which if we start producing locally means an estimated investment of Rs 5,000 crore.”

Speaking on the occasion, president, Kashmir Poultry Farmers Association, Ghulam Muhammad Bhat said “the government talks about self sufficiency but instead of encouragement through planned ways government brought this industry into negative list which means that poultry unitholders are not entitled to benefits given to other segments of industry.”

President, KCCI said that it has organised the conference to bridge the gap between stakeholders with the objective of bringing all stakeholders together for an exchange of ideas and collect suggestions and recommendations for bringing this industry in the priority investment sectors of the state. The KCCI presented a draft paper on the poultry sector and also aired a short documentary on the local poultry industry.