Budget 2023-24 to incorporate PM’s vision of viksit J&K: CS to Adm Secys

JAMMU: In the aftermath of the 2nd Chief Secretaries Conference chaired by Prime Minister recently the Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta took a detailed review of way forward for achieving different objectives set out during the conference.

The meeting was attended by all the Administrative Secretaries, DG Budget, Directors of Finance of different departments and other concerned officers.

Dr Mehta stressed on including all themes mentioned by the Prime Minister in the upcoming budget. He maintained that all of these form the guiding principles for us to be earnestly followed and achieved in a time bound manner. He directed for making necessary inclusions in the budget 2023-24 for implementing these ideals set for the UT.

It was set out that the agenda of this year’s conference was based upon the broad counters of Viksit Bharat that were decided after extensive deliberations between nodal Ministries, NITI Aayog, States/UTs and domain experts. The discussion during the Conference were held on six identified themes viz Thrust on MSMEs, Infrastructure and Investments, Minimising Compliances, Women’s Empowerment, Health & Nutrition and Skill Development.

The Chief Secretary encouraged the officers to continue strengthening MSME sector as being significant for attaining the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and to popularise local products. Further the ideals of ‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’ also needs to be focussed upon.

He called upon them to focus on ending mindless compliances and those laws or rules which are outdated. He remarked that in a time of unparalleled reforms, there is no scope for over regulation and undue restrictions. So time has come to reduce the compliance burden (RCB) on common citizens as much as possible, he added.

Besides the meeting held focused deliberations on incorporation of themes like Vocal for Local and use of new emerging technologies. It was decided that districts being the fulcrum of development should be given more autonomy in utilization of funds through PRI’s to enable their unrestrained growth and progress. It also discussed the idea of circular economy and UTs being model of development for all other states.

Dr Mehta impressed upon all the Administrative Secretaries to create a single helpline as envisaged in the conference. He asked them to integrate the helplines related to women and children like 181 and 1098 with 112 Emergency Response Support System.

It was further made out to create women hubs in each district and women exclusive shopping centres, women tourist guides and taxi drivers for their greater role in such men-dominated activities. Promotion of women SHGs for carrying out their entrepreneurial activities was also promulgated as a priority area for the budget. Hostel for working women and pink bus service to be used as transport was also discussed in this meeting.

With regard to Health sector the Chief Secretary declared that whole adult population should be screened for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) besides children and girls for malnutrition and anaemia respectively. It was targeted to have 100% institutional births and maintenance of fertility rate at national average of 2.1 here in the UT as well.

For skilling of youth the standardization across skill ecosystem came under discussion. Launch of Skill India Digital Platform as a single skilling interface in the UT for mapping of infrastructure and skilling schemes. Formulation of district skill plans, use of artificial intelligence in skilling, industry partnership in ITIs, on-the-job training, counselling, degree apprenticeship, implementation of PMKVY 4.0 is the way forward to achieve skilling and gainful employment of the youth in the long run, the meeting discussed.

In sustainable energy development establishment of solar plants and sustainable renewable energy models was envisaged to be the key areas of focus for future. For promotion of tourism a comprehensive tourism policy for J&K to bring back film industry and eco-tourism, adventure tourism and sustainable tourism combined with promotion of homestays was identified as areas for inclusion into the upcoming budget.

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