Dubai team arrives in Jammu today to discuss investment in dry ports in JK
In a significant development, a high profile team from Dubai is arriving in Jammu on Wednesday to discuss modalities for investment in dry port and controlled atmospheric chain in the state.
The visit of world renowned Dubai Ports’ group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayenm-led team follows the announcement made by finance minister Haseeb Drabu in his budget speech in Jammu last month about government’s plan to attract foreign investment in setting up dry ports.
“We are trying to sign MoU with government of Dubai for a joint venture to create a logistic hub in the state, one each in Kashmir and Jammu. We will be discussing the modalities tomorrow and we are trying if the deal is signed on February 11 when the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is visiting Dubai for investments. We don’t have clearance yet but we may be able to do that,” Drabu told Greater Kashmir.
During his budget speech the minister had said that a well-developed logistic sector would not only increase trade activity across all sectors in J&K but can also enhance competitiveness of the businesses.
“I propose to change the relationship between level of economic development (as measured in terms of GDP per capita), the composition of the state economy and logistics costs by proposing one dry port in Jammu and another one in Kashmir,” the minister had said in his budget speech.
He had also talked about “principle understanding” between state government and logistics arm of government of Dubai, DP World, a leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain, for a joint venture partnership for construction of a logistic hub, including an integrated dry port in the Jammu and Kashmir.
The union ministers for railway Piyush Goyal and commerce Suresh Prabu have already agreed to the state government’s proposal. Tying up with the DP World would mean first time a foreign investment could be happening in J&K.
One of the major problems of J&K economy is high cost of transportation. “We have to get our fruit in trucks to outside world. If we get a dry port and cold chain in J&K then things can moved in integrated container system from yard to railway station. This will bring down cost of transportation by 20 percent to 25 percent. This will be a major flip top the state economy,” said Drabu.
A dry port, also called an inland port or multimodal logistics centre, is an inland terminal connected to a seaport by rail or road. It serves as trans-shipment point in transport of export/import goods and is named so because it is very similar to a seaport in services it offers except that it is not near a sea.
An official said the Dubai team would hold meetings with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the finance minister soon after landing in Jammu to discuss modalities for the investment. The team would also visit a proposed site in Jammu before flying back to Dubai.