In a significant move, a high-level delegation of the Dubai Ports Group led by its Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem arrived by a chartered flight here this morning to discuss with the State Government the modalities for setting up Inland Logistic Hub in Jammu and Srinagar.Immediately on their arrival here, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and his team held separate meetings with the Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu and Industries Minister, Chander Parkash Ganga followed by delegation level parleys with the concerned Ministers and the State Government officials.The visit of Dubai Ports Group delegation follows the announcement made by the Finance Minister in his budget speech in the State Legislature last month about government’s plan to attract foreign investment by setting up dry ports in the State to boost local economy.The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up inland logistic hubs in Jammu and Srinagar, as a Joint Venture between the Dubai Ports and the Jammu & Kashmir Government, was finalized at the delegation level talks between Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem-led DP team and Dr Haseeb Drabu-led state government team.
Minister for Industries & Commerce Chander Parkash Ganga, Principal Secretary Finance, Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary Industries, Shailendra Kumar and other officers of the concerned departments besides senior executives of Dubai Ports were present at the delegation-level meeting.The meeting deliberated in detail the parameters of the MoU and finalized the same after threadbare discussions. The MoU is to be subsequently signed by the Government of India with the Government of UAE to facilitate setting up the first Inland Logistic Hub in J&K. It was decided in the meeting that to begin with 100 acres of land would be offered by the State Government near Railway Station Samba as equity in the Joint Venture with Dubai Ports for setting up the Logistic Hub in Jammu region and around 100 acres of land would be earmarked near Ompora, Budgam for a similar facility in Kashmir.The meeting was informed that the Logistics Hub to be established in Jammu and Kashmir with maiden foreign direct investment of around Rs 1500 crores by Dubai Ports would include two dry ports, warehouses, cold storage chain, controlled atmospheric stores and supply chain to transport commodities and products including horticulture & agriculture produce, handicrafts and industrial products from J&K directly to the markets throughout the world.
“One of the major problems of J&K economy is high cost of transportation of goods and products. We have to get our fruit, agriculture produce, handicrafts and industrial products in trucks to outside world. If we get a dry port and cold chain in J&K, the commodities can move through an integrated transport chain. This will bring down the cost of transportation by 20 percent to 25 percent giving major flip top the state economy,” said Dr Drabu.He said 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.Dubai Ports is operating 78 marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in 40 countries across six continents with a significant presence in both high-growth and mature markets.The company owns 6 marine terminals and 6 goods trains in India and two marine terminals in Pakistan. It has also marine terminals in China, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea and USA.The Dubai Ports Chairman and his team accompanied by Ministers Dr Drabu and Mr Ganga, and state government officials, later visited Samba to personally take stock of the site identified by the State Government for setting up the Logistic Hub in Jammu.