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Businessman who brought UAE investors facing several cases

Businessman who brought UAE investors facing several cases

Bal Krishen Rathore, a Dubai-based Jammu-origin businessman



Samaan Lateef

Srinagar, April 24

A Dubai-based businessman has decided to invest in Kashmir months after investigative agencies carried out multiple raids against him in Jammu. To lure the investment from the UAE, the J&K administration projected Kashmir to an Emirati delegation as the safest place to do business and cited its lowest share in crime rates. It even showed that the BJP-ruled Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat topped the crime chart.

Bal Krishen Rathore, a Dubai-based Jammu-origin businessman, who brought a 36-member Emirati business delegation to Kashmir last month, has long been a target of different investigative agencies.

In the run-up to the abrogation of Article 370, GST intelligence officials conducted searches at Safa Valley, a project of Rathore’s 8 Boundaries Builders Private Limited in Jammu and slapped him with a penalty of Rs 4.5 crore for tax evasion.

In September 2019, the J&K Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) initiated another probe against Rathore for illegal constructions and encroachment upon state land as well as the sale of flats meant for economically weaker sections.

In March 2020, the Enforcement Directorate conducted a raid at Rathore’s Jammu offices and the premises of his business associates. Under FEMA violations, the agency seized fixed deposits and sovereign gold bonds worth $3.3 million.

In January, Rathore’s Dubai-based Century Financial signed an MoU with the J&K government for making a $100M investment to set up three hotels and one commercial complex in Kashmir.

In March 2022, Rathore used his connections in the UAE to bring a 36-member delegation of Emiratis and Indian expats to Kashmir.

Reportedly out of 36, 13 were Emirati and the rest were affluent Indian expats. Ashok Kotecha of BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, Abu Dhabi, was also part of the delegation.

After the UAE delegation visited Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had said that investment in J&K would cross Rs 70,000 crore in the next six months.

A US based investigative journalist Raqib Hameed Naik revealed the information behind the Emarti delegation.

Naik alleged authorities are "arm-twisting to force affluent Indian expats to bring investment and promote their sense of normalcy in Kashmir."

Tax evasion, encroachment charges

  • In 2019, GST officials had conducted searches at Safa Valley, a project of Bal Krishen Rathore in Jammu, and slapped him with a penalty of Rs 4.5 crore for tax evasion.
  • The Anti-Corruption Bureau initiated another probe against Rathore for illegal constructions and encroachment upon state land.
  • In 2020, the ED had raided premises of Rathore and his associates, seizing FD and sovereign gold bonds worth $3.3 million.

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