‘We don’t want to wait for last gun to fall silent, will continue development’
SRINAGAR, Oct 5: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not want to wait for last gun to fall silent in Kashmir for economic reforms in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at SKICC here, Dr Jitendra said if the development stops, peace gets disturbed. “I am sure as the things move it will all be for the better. Certainly, the economic growth cannot be stopped, cannot be obstructed, whatever, the circumstances. Of course, peace and development share a reciprocal relationship. If peace gets hampered, the development process gets hindered but if development stops, peace also gets disturbed. Therefore, we don’t have to wait for the last gun to fall silent. The economic reforms will continue unabated and expeditiously like in other parts of the country”, he said.
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The Minister said that everybody should ensure that normalcy returns to Kashmir. “It is all the more reason that all of us should join together to ensure that the circumstances come back to normal and I am sure they are coming back to normal. It will continue to happen as they are happening. We have to wait a little more (for normalcy to return)”, he said.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh said that the new reforms introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will prove to be a game changer for the aspirational youth of Kashmir. He said, youth of Kashmir are keen to be a part of the development journey led by Modi and it is only a veil of fear which is holding them back. “But as the situation gradually comes back to normal, the same Kashmir youth will be the torch bearers of New India,” he added.
‘We don’t want to wait for last gun to fall silent, will continue development’
Earlier in his speech Dr Jitendra Singh said that political dispensation makes much difference and country had waited for 70 years for Narendra Modi to become a Prime Minister. “Much of the difference happens depending upon the prioritization of the political dispensation of the time. And we have waited for 70 years for this kind of scenario to emerge. I think it was because India had to wait for 70 years for Narendra Modi to become a Prime Minister. It is a different kind of placement of priorities of the political dispensation which has emboldened, encouraged and pushed forward the banking sector as well as the other agencies to move ahead in a professional manner without any extraneous considerations”, he said.
“You remember on May 26, 2014 around 6 in the evening when our Government took the oath of office led by Narendra Modi. One of the first sentences uttered by him was my Government is dedicated to the poor of this country, in fact poorest of the poor. I cannot say with how seriousness this sentence was heard and if it had been heard then remembered too and if remembered, then sometime a thinking to apply it might have come”, the Minister said.
Dr Jitendra said the commitment made by Team Modi at the time of taking oath stands abundantly vindicated. “…But when we look back at three years, I think the Government, the Prime Minister’s commitment, the commitment of Team Modi stands abundantly vindicated. One after the other, Jan Dhan, Mudra, GST, note change, remonitisation, whatever was steps were taken, they were all focused to change or improve the lot of the poorest of the poor. And that is the shift in prioritization in present dispensation led by Prime Minister Modi which has actually made difference. There was no accountability in previous governments”, he said.
The Minister said that the Government led by Modi formulates policy through the vision of youth. “This new generation is not much influenced by the past prejudices of cast, creed and religion. You cannot deceive on the basis of caste and religion. And that is why it is the majority and we are minority. And, this is the realization of the present Prime Minister and present Government that if we have to actually formulate any programme for India of today or Jammu and Kashmir of today, it has to be done through the vision of the youth”, he said.
“Sometime may be we see lots of things through old prism of 60 years ago. The priority of the youth is now job placement not accessibility like old days. There in comes the linkage of Mudra”, he said.
Dr Jitendra questioned previous governments for not implementing GST and demonetization. “This Government has shown the will and courage to do what is in interest of the nation. PM Modi has said that I have not come to run Government nation. It is not an ordinary thing but how much of commitment (it needs)…and I think what has made all difference”, he said.
The Minster said that the country had no visionary leadership which could have taken the decisions like GST and demonetization. “The credibility and trustworthiness of this Prime Minister made these reforms and schemes practical. There was lack of credibility in previous regimes. 70 years of democracy is an infancy period. We have to evolve. We didn’t have had kind of visionary leadership which could have taken these decisions”, he said.
Dr Jitendra hoped that schemes like Mudra Finance will change the mindset of people in general from seeking employment to self-employment and employment generation. “Job and placement are the two key words in the lives of millions of educated youth, therefore the schemes like Mudra Finance were inspired by the idea of employability rather than employment. Mudra like schemes reflect the sensitivity of the government towards the need for a behavioral shift that is required of the people to inculcate certain values for a sustainable progress. And we believe these schemes will usher a change in mindset of people in general from seeking employment to self-employment and then towards job-providing”, he said.
The Minister said that State government needs to be innovative in its approach. “Technology was also leveraged to expedite the economic progress in the process. We also need to be innovative in our approach at the level of State government. We have unexplored resources within the State. The first thing we need to do is to assess the skill-profile required to explore and exploit these local resources. Then only can we properly train the human resource available and leverage the whole process for the overall development of the state”, he said.
Dr Jitendra said the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to strengthening the small scale industries across the country, “Our Government has got the political will and resolve to initiate bold reforms to streamline the economy and we have done so in the form of GST and demonetization,” he said.
The Minister said the Central government is committed to change the fortunes of the underprivileged in the country, “Soon after being sworn in, PM Modi stated that his government will work for the welfare of the poorest of the poor. Schemes such as Mudra and Jan Dhan Yojna will go a long way in improving the financial state of the poor in the country,” he said.
Dr Jitendra said that Kashmir youth are intelligent as they have qualified for IAS and cleared IITs. “There is so much intelligence level in minds of Kashmiri youth. This year 19 children from Kashmir Valley cleared IITs. They were from terror affected districts. From many years, IAS toppers come from Kashmir”, he said.
Earlier, in his opening address of Mudra Protsahan Abhiyaan here at SKICC urging banks to simplify the process of giving loans to small enterprises, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu today said entrepreneurs fail not because of bad business model but due to social and domestic compulsions.
Pointing to a woman in the audience whose infant kid started crying in the middle of the promotional ceremony, the Finance Minister said the state of the woman reflects the state of an aspiring entrepreneur who has to factor in both the financial and domestic compulsions before starting their entrepreneurial ventures.
“Like the difficulties of that woman, the financial institutions need to recognise the difficulties faced by a fledgling entrepreneur. There is passion of entrepreneurship and compulsion of domesticity which financial institutions need to factor in,” Dr Drabu said.
Dr Drabu said small-scale industries as the backbone of the country’s economy and various schemes have been devised since independence to address the issue of financing the micro industry but with little success.
“Mudra will try and restore balance by helping a banker understand where the intervention is required. There are millions of small enterprises in India which contribute 46 percent to manufacturing output and 44 percent to exports, yet they get only eight percent credit while their credit-to-GDP ratio is less than three percent,” the Finance Minister said.
Urging the financial institutions to evolve their credit system in light of new technology, Dr Drabu said the Mudra scheme covers up for their lack of functioning. “The scheme is the indictment of the failure of banking sector because Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to intervene himself to get banks to lend loans at small interest rates through Mudra,” he said.
Dr Drabu said the Mudra scheme doesn’t subsidise or give free loans to aspiring entrepreneurs but it will leverage the current banking infrastructure and technology so that the government is not burdened and enough traction is generated to create viable entrepreneurship.
“Once there is access to credit for an aspiring entrepreneur, next step would be the demand for credit. Mudra will provide access to credit by leveraging positions. The scheme will create securities in the mind of young entrepreneurs which will allow him to take risks that forms the basis of entrepreneurship. If risk mitigation is done, you will find a lot of appetite,” the Finance Minister said.
The Minister said that bringing in subsidies and tax waivers erode the culture of entrepreneurship.”Entrepreneurs must be allowed to bloom in a competitive culture form the word go. J&K is used to a certain culture of exemptions which will not sustain in the long run. The enduring theme of economic policy should be to manage the finances and address the issues of social value system,” he said.
Dr Drabu said the introduction of Goods and Services Tax regime is generating a certain degree of resistance because people were adopted to the old regime of indirect taxation. “People used to do certain way of business but they must adapt to the change in taxation system. As a policy, GST is meant to change national value system,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman and CEO of J&K Bank, Parvez Ahmed, gave a detailed overview of the performance of the banks operating in the state regarding MUDRA Finance.
The Chairman said: “MUDRA is one of the very progressive initiatives aimed at addressing the issue of unemployment in the country. It targets to finance around 6 Crore entrepreneurs through banks, NBFC’s and other financial institutions and I am sure the scheme is envisaged to be the game changer on the micro economic landscape.”
Parvez said: “Registering 41 percent achievement in financial terms under the scheme, the banks in J&K have disbursed Rs 1003 Cr to 41000 beneficiaries against an annual target of 2433 Cr to 1,18,000 beneficiaries. I am sure that in the coming quarters we will be able to achieve the earmarked target. Also a total of 20 lakh PMJDY accounts have been opened in the state by all the banks with total deposit of Rs. 650 Crore. Out of these accounts, 17 lacs have been opened in rural areas of the state and 15 lakh customers have been provided Rupay Cards also.”
“Under the crucial components of financial inclusion and credit linkage, banks are actively taking part in spreading financial awareness among the masses from FLCC’s and rural branches. Besides providing vocational training and hand holding through RSETI’s, more than 40,000 candidates have been imparted entrepreneurship development training thought RSETI’s since inception out of which 60 percent candidates have settled either through bank or self-finance”, he added.
In his welcome address, Navin Kumar detailed out the purpose of Mudra Promotion campaign and the incidental benefits it accrues in general to its current as well as the prospective beneficiaries.
Stressing upon the banks operating in the state to improve CD Ratio of the State, he said, “I urge the banks to redouble their efforts to bring CD Ratio of the state at par with the national average.”
Dr Jitendra along with other dignitaries visited the stalls, bustling with visitors, which were established there by the participating banks, insurance companies and other agencies including UIDAI, SIDBI, NPC (National Payments Corporation), JKEDI, Tourism Department, Horticulture and Handloom.