Jammu, Minister for Finance Dr Haseeb Drabu on Monday said the proposed Dry Ports to be established by the Dubai Ports World and the J&K Government through Joint Venture at Jammu and Srinagar will immensely improve the quality and structure of the local economy.
“The proposed Multi-Modal Logistics Parks (Dry Ports) will facilitate faster movement of local produce to the processing centres and the markets outside. This will raise the income of farmers, industrialists, traders and businessmen and create a large number of jobs,” Dr Drabu told media-persons on his arrival from Dubai here this morning.
Dr Drabu, on behalf of J&K Government, yesterday signed an MoU in Abu Dhabi with Dubai Ports Chairman & CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem in presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for setting up maiden Multi-Modal Logistics Parks in J&K through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The Finance Minister said that the Multi-Modal Logistic Park as the name suggests is one centralized place for all types of transportation activities and value-added services needed by exporters and local traders for shipping their goods. “It also works as an interlinking point for all modes of transport at one specific place,” he said and added that the Dubai Ports team has already reached here to formally start work on the ambitious project in consultation with the State’s Industries and Commerce Department.
“It is heartening to note that the State Government has already started receiving business enquiries from various multinational companies in this regard,” Dr Drabu said adding that in the first phase an investment of Rs 1500 crore would be made by the Dubai Ports World in the multi-modal logistics parks (Dry Port) which would swell up to Rs 5000 crore over the next 5 years.
He said the proposed Inland Logistic Parks to be established at Samba in Jammu and Ompora in Kashmir would include warehouses and specialised storage solutions including CA Stores and Cold Storage Chains for transportation of agriculture, horticulture and handicraft products and other trade-able goods from J&K directly to the markets worldwide bringing down the transportation costs substantially.
Enumerating on how the ambitious project is going to benefit J&K, Dr Drabu said it will not only bring down the transportation costs of goods but also increase their market access and transform the abysmal scenario wherein logistics accounts for about 18% of the total product cost in the State, as against 8-12% in other countries. “These Logistic Parks would immensely improve efficiency in freight movement bringing down the transportation costs by 20 to 25 percent and giving major flip top the local economy,” he said.
Pertinently, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, along with a team of Senior Executives of Dubai Ports visited J&K earlier this week to hash-out the modalities for setting up Inland Logistics Parks in Jammu and Srinagar and finalize the MoU in this regard. The Dubai Ports delegation held detailed deliberations with the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Industries Minister, Chander Parkash Ganga and other State Government officials and also visited the proposed site for the Logistics Park at Samba in Jammu. The delegation will be again visiting the State during summers this year to finalize the site in Kashmir, preferably at Ompora near the Srinagar International Airport.