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Concerned over impact of the ongoing unrest in the Valley on the state's economy, industry body Assocham today said that it can help chalk out an 'Economic Revival Plan' for Jammu and Kashmir. "The Assocham is concerned over the impact of problems in Jammu and Kashmir over its economy and the negative relationship between growth and strife," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat told reporters here. He further said: "We call for renewed efforts to bring the state economy back into shape by large scale drive to boost tourism, handicraft, horticulture, livestock and forestry sector." The body suggests a well coordinated approach between the central and state economic agencies in consonance with the law enforcement organs to somehow get the business back into the valley, he said. "Whatever it takes, the sustainable solution lies in the economic development of the state and the Assocham would be happy to chalk out an 'Economic Revival Plan' for the state, from the point of short-term, medium term and long term," Rawat said. He said that the gross state domestic product (GSDP) of the state at constant prices (2004-05) for financial year 2014-15 is estimated at Rs 45,126.30 crore. The sectoral composition of the state income has undergone considerable change over a period of time, he said. "Over the last five decades, the share of primary sector has declined steadily from 28.16 per cent in 2004-05 to 17.83 per cent in 2014-15 and the share of secondary sector has declined from 28.13 percent in 2004-05 to 25.53 per cent in 2014-15.
While share of service sector has substantially increased from 43.71 per cent in 2004-05 to 56.64 per cent in 2014-15," Rawat said.
He said that with the help of the state government and the local agencies, all out efforts must be made to ensure that advantage is taken of the good rains in the monsoon season for getting better harvest from the agriculture and horticulture.
The Assocham Secretary General Rawat also said that the transportation sector along with the storage should be infused with confidence of safety and security so that industry including the cottage and small scale can pick up thread again. Kashmir is stunning and captivating land that abounds with natural beauty, adorned by snow capped mountains, wildflower meadows, and immense glaciers and sparkling lakes, Kashmir has often been compared with heaven on earth, he said. "However for tourism to return, confidence needs to be restored and along with it, the entire trade, hotels and restaurant sector can spring back," Rawat said. He said that with the active involvement of the textile ministry, commerce ministry and sectoral export promotion councils, the sectors like carpets and handicrafts can be given special packages and boost. "The share of agriculture with livestock into the total state GDP is 14.35 per cent, forestry and logging is 2.77 per cent, fishing 0.36 per cent, manufacturing 7.72 per cent, industry 25.87 percent, transport, storage and communication 5.15 per cent, trade hotels and restaurants 7.75 per cent, banking and insurance 6.24 per cent and public administration 18.36 per cent," he said. He said that as per the 'Quick Manual Results' of the sixth economic census 2013, there are 5,07,372 establishments located in Jammu and Kashmir which are engaged in different economic activities other than crop production, plantation, public administration, defense and compulsory social security. "Out of these establishments, 3, 04,207 are constituting 59.96 per cent are in rural areas and remaining 40.04 per cent in urban areas," he said. He said that as per the provisional results the number of handicraft/handloom establishments in the state were 60,397 with 46,054 in rural and 14,343 in urban areas. He said that with over 70 per cent of the state population depending upon agriculture for its livelihood, the state needs to double its agriculture production including both horticulture and food grain from the current level of about five million tonnes,. "Though about 33 lakh people in Jammu and Kashmir are directly or indirectly engaged in agriculture and allied activities, the state runs a net food grain deficit owing to various factors like single cropping season in high altitude areas, low technological advancement, inferior quality of seeds and primitive agriculture practices," Rawat said.