New Delhi:With the political situation and the law and order scene on the mend in J&K, tourist traffic is poised to attract over 10 lakh people after a gap of many years .
The annual export turnover of handicrafts, sports and leather goods is likely to exceed over Rs 1500 crore in fiscal 2007-08 as compared to Rs 1150 crore in 2006-07 Commerce & Industry of India.
In a Vision Paper being prepared by Assocham in the last fiscal, about six lakh tourists visited the Jammu and Kashmir valley and its tourist destinations for recreation, skiing and trekking.
According to estimates, the last few months received roughly two lakh tourist arrivals in 2007, largely because fears of disruption and unrest have been replaced with growing security regarding the restoration of normalcy.
The industry chamber is of the view that the trend is likely to continue as things steadily improve. A concommitant outcome would be the increase in number of tourist arrivals which is expected to exceed 10 lakh by end of March 31, 2008.
In 2005-06, tourist arrivals were less than three lakh; they were over six lakh in 2006-07. Given the present infrastructure, there may not be any problem in accommodating tourist arrivals this summer in tented accommodation although several big hotels are also coming up in the valley.
Export of various Kashmiri goods such as handicrafts, sports goods, walnuts, wooden furniture, leather goods, silk and silk products clocked in an annual turnover of Rs.900 crore in 2005 which shot up by Rs 250 crore in the following year and is further expected to go over Rs 1500 crore by end of current fiscal.
Industrial activity will also be seen in fresh and dry fruits like apples, almonds and walnuts which have brought in revenues to the tune of Rs 21 billion in 2007 as against Rs 19 billion of the preceding year.
Saffron’s exports are also likely to get a boost with Kashmir valley’s 3000 hectares being under its cultivation with an annual production of nine tonnes of which six tonnes get exported every year.
Pharmaceutical companies are likely to set up chains of their small and medium sized manufacturing units, availing of incentives provided by the state government. Companies like Ind-swift Pharmaceuticals, Dabur Pharma, Sun Pharma, Cadila Pharma, Lupin Ltd. and MedleyPharma are in different stages of being commissioned and operationalized.
Industrial park in the state too is undergoing 2nd and 3rd phase of expansion which will also acquire space not only for pharmaceutical industry but other allopathic, homeopathic and ayurveda formulation based industries.