Srinagar: Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is now a promising destination for investors with new economic and industrial reforms, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said that that the changes that have taken place in the last 18 months have given a determined push to the socio-economic development of the Union Territory.
Sinha made these remarks during the release of the book – Tipane Kashmirchi (Notes on Kashmir), untold stories authored by Arun Karmarkar in Mumbai, an official spokesperson said in a statement issued here on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor observed that changes that have taken place in the last 18 months have given a determined push to the socio-economic development, besides empowering the common people in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory for the first time. “J&K has a development deficit of 73 years and there will be challenges to fill the gaps, but the administration is fully prepared to deal with it,” the Lt Governor said.
On Economic reforms, the Lt Governor observed that a new Industrial Development Scheme of Rs 28,400 crore has been unveiled for attracting investment in the UT, besides creating opportunities for the youth. “With such a scheme and a ready land bank, the investors would find J&K as a promising destination for their investments. The UT Government is committed to take industries up to the block level for inclusive growth,” he said.
“I have visited different parts of the Union Territory continuously in the last 6 months. 70 percent of the population is below 35 years and there is no shortage of manpower and resources. We are taking comprehensive measures through initiatives like Mission Youth to harness demographic dividend and ensuring youth’s engagement in a constructive way, contributing to the overall development of J&K,” the Lt Governor added.
Underscoring the reformative initiatives taken by the Government for the growth and prosperity of J&K, the Lt Governor said that the second installment of Rs 250 crore to Jammu and Kashmir Bank as Interest Subvention was disbursed on the February 11. The first installment of Rs 250 crore was released last year as part of our Rs 1350 crore economic package and 3 lakh 41 thousand small and big business units were given relief from the trauma of the corona epidemic.
On power generation, the Lt Governor said that despite the immense potential of Hydro Power, only 3500 MW of power was generated in J&K in the last 73 years, causing small businesses and citizens to face power problems. We have approved several projects worth Rs 54,000 crore within 3-4 months and we aspire to generate 3500 Megawatt of power in the next four years to make Jammu Kashmir a power surplus.
Compared to other states, the budget of Jammu and Kashmir has been four to five times more in per capita, yet the development that should have been done, the kind of industrialization that should have taken place has not happened, he added.
The Lt Governor, while speaking on the opportunities created for the young entrepreneurs observed that an amount to the tune of Rs 264 crore has been disbursed as financial assistance to 16,800 youth (against the assumed targeted of 8500) identified from all the 4290 Panchayats in J&K to become entrepreneurs under the Back to Village. All the Panchayats have been provided with sports kits worth Rs 20,000 each during the Back to Village-3 programme as per the local requirements, he added.
The Lt Governor remarked that – “The people of Jammu and Kashmir were deprived of basic rights. Few vested interests hampered the development reaching the doorsteps of the people for decades”.
He said that there is no escape from accepting the truth that deliberately, under a thoughtful strategy, the development of J&K, the aspirations and dreams of the people were suppressed by a few people and a particular section. We have taken another big step to correct the errors of history.