Srinagar, August04 (Vijay Kumar) –Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that, Jammu and Kashmir would be leader in the country in manufacturing bio-plastic products, which would be an effective and viable alternative to the polythene.
The Chief Minister was speaking on the occasion of signing of MoU between J&K Agro Industries Development Corporation and EARTHSOUL India Private Limited at SKICC in Srinagar today for a joint venture of Bio-Plastic Manufacturing Unit in the state.
The unit likely to cost Rs. 5 crore would be the first of its kind in the country to manufacture bio-plastic from potato or corn starch to replace polythene and help preserve the environment.
Omar while Stressing on the need to discourage use of polythene at all levels and help preserve the state’s environment from depletion and degradation. He said that it takes one million years for polythene to get decomposed while bio-plastic products will get decomposed within 3 to 4 months. “We have taken an important decision to stop the use of polythene in the state for the larger interests of the state and safeguard the future generation from dangerous effects of polythene use”, he said.
Chief Minister said that after the imposition of ban on the use of polythene of specific thickness, an alternative for it was imperative to be provided and the new venture would be a landmark step in this field. “This is the occasion to celebrated” he said adding that Jammu and Kashmir, by venturing in this product, will be the first state in the country and the first unit in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in Agriculture sector.
The Chief Minister said that launching of bio-plastic product and establishing a modern unit of this kind in the state would open ways for other Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to seek private partnership in different ventures in the sectors of health, agriculture, education, horticulture etc. “This is most important to make the PSUs viable at one hand and generate jobs for the un-employed on the other.
Mr. Omar assured all help and assistance from the government for establishing new industrial units especially agro-based in the state for which there is greater potential and feasibility. He said there is urgent need to rope in investors for joint ventures under PPP mode and government would actively facilitate such actions by the PSUs and local private industrialists.
J&K Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir while speaking on the occasion,said that the new concept of providing alternative to the polythene visualized by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been translated into reality by the Agro Industries Development Corporation taking a lead in this direction by signing MoU with the EARTHSOUL India Private Limited. He said that the unit would pave way for others to follow the suit and involve more and more private sector in the establishment of Agro-based units for giving considerable fillip to economic activities in this field and generate jobs for un-employed.
Mr. Mir said that during the period of disturbances the development activities have come to a standstill and its impact is still prevailing in the industrial and other sectors. “We have to pull the state out of this sphere and kick start new ventures utilizing modern technology”, he said and added that the suggestions from the intelligentsia in this regard would be respected and welcomed by the government.
The Agriculture Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir possess greater potential for establishing modern agro-based industrial units and open new areas for employment generation.
Earlier, the MoU was signed by the Chief Executive Officer and the founder of EARTHSOUL India Private Limited, Mr. Perses Bilimoria and Managing Director, JK Agro Industries Development Corporation, Dr. G. N. Qasba in presence of Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah, Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Minister of State for Agriculture,. Javid Ahmad Dar, Chief Secretary, S. S. Kapur, Principal Secretary Agriculture Production,. Sonali Kumar, Principal Secretary to Science and Technology,. Arun Kumar and other high dignitaries.
Welcoming the guests and giving introduction of the new product, the MD Agro Industries Development Corporation, Dr. G. N. Qasba gave resume of the new venture to be launching under PPP mode by the corporation. He also mentioned the important role of Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation for implementing the ban on use of polythene. He also made power point presentation of the new product and the joint venture on the occasion.
The Chief Executive Officer and founder of EARTHSOUL India Limited, P. Bilimoria said that the production of bio-plastic bags and other items would start from October this year and the machinery to be utilized for the unit is the latest from Italy. He said the unit would make Jammu and Kashmir front runner in the establishment of a first unit of its kind in the country.