Cong, allies deliberately sabotaged Shahpur Kandi project for 35 years: Dr Jitendra

‘Modi created lucrative livelihood opportunities for youth’

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Feb 29: Union Minister in PMO with independent charge of Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh today accused the earlier Governments of Congress, National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of deliberately sabotaging the Shahpur Kandi Project for 35 long years for their vested political interests.

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Talking to reporters at the sidelines of MUDRA Labharthi Sammelan organised by State Bank of India (SBI) here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said the earlier Governments run by Congress, National Conference and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had developed a vested interest in keeping this project in limbo as the four districts two each from J&K and Punjab were not the vote bank of these parties.
He said districts of Gurdaspur and Pathankot in Punjab were not vote bank of Congress while those of Kathua and Samba were not also the vote bank of NC and PDP so for their vested political interests the dynastic parties subjected these four districts to deliberate discrimination for decades together.
Dr Jitendra Singh, while making a scathing attack on them said that it was the result of this discriminative policy that thousands of hectares of land in twin districts of Kathua and Samba turned barren and were called Kandi as earlier Governments were not interested for their development and prosperity of people.
The Union Minister said surprisingly the leaders of these parties were making a hue and cry of terminating the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan under which the water of three rivers of J&K was flowing to neighbouring country while the water of Ravi, Beas and Satluj was to be utilised by India. He said but for their vested interest the water of Ravi was also flowing to Pakistan as the earlier Governments both in Punjab and J&K did not show any interest in signing a pact on Shahpur Kandi Project.
He said it was the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who initiated this project in 2014 after taking the reins of Government, but first NC Government at that time was not ready to sign the pact. Later PDP Government and then Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti also averted signing the pact asking Punjab Government to deposit the money.
Dr Jitendra Singh said though the project was in national interest as entire water was flowing to Pakistan but the dynastic parties especially Congress dishonoured Nehru who was heading the Government when India and Pakistan signed the Indus Water Treaty. The Congress and other parties did not take interest in the project because this way they wanted to please a certain section of voters. He alleged that the Congress party did not follow to fulfil the commitment of Nehru on the Indus Water Treaty by allowing the flow of Ravi Water to Pakistan.

Beneficiaries of MUDRA scheme posing for a photograph with Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and SBI officers at Jammu on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Beneficiaries of MUDRA scheme posing for a photograph with Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and SBI officers at Jammu on Thursday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Terming the Shahpur Kandi a game changing project he said 3500 to 4000 hectares of land in twin districts of Kathua and Samba will get irrigated with this project.
Dr Jitendra Singh also gave full credit to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi of brining a startup revolution in the country and said from 350-400 in 2013 the number of start-ups in the country has gone up to 1.50 lakh. He also gave credit to PM for opening space to private players.
Later addressing the function he appealed to youth to take up the advantage of the lucrative start-ups and not to hanker of Government jobs.
The Union Minister of State said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created lucrative livelihood opportunities other than Government jobs through different schemes like MUDRA, StartUp India, Aroma Mission, PM Vishwakarma, PM SVAnidhi etc.
There are instances of youngsters leaving corporate jobs to opt for StartUp entrepreneurship, he said.
The Minister said, J&K has been highly benefited under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) which is evident from the fact that out of over six crore beneficiaries across the country, J&K has nearly 25,000 beneficiaries though being a smaller territory with a lesser population compared to some UTs and many states in the country. He congratulated the State Bank of India, J&K chapter for this achievement.
What is significant is that across the country, about 60 to 70% of MUDRA beneficiaries are women, said Dr Jitendra Singh.
During the programme, Dr. Jitendra Singh emphasised that there may not be any scheme in the world supported by a bank without a guarantee or a mortgage. But, MUDRA started under PM Modi and supported by the banks disburses loans under this scheme without a guarantee or a mortgage and the only guarantee is ‘Modi ki Guarantee” which means guarantee of fulfilment of a guarantee.
Pertinent to mention, Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a flagship scheme of the Modi Government. The scheme facilitates micro credit/Loan up to Rs. 10 lakhs to income generating micro enterprises engaged in the non farm sector in manufacturing, trading or service sectors including activities allied to agriculture such as poultry, dairy, beekeeping, etc. The Scheme provides financial assistance extended by Member Lending Institutions to the non-corporate, non-farm sector income generating activities of micro and small entities.
These micro and small entities comprise millions of proprietorship / partnership firms running as small manufacturing units, service sector units, shopkeepers, fruits / vegetable vendors, truck operators, food-service units, repair shops, machine operators, small industries, artisans, food processors and others.
Schemes like PM-SVANidhi, PM Vishwakarma etc. have touched and benefited that strata of the society that has not been taken care of by the previous governments. But, PM Narendra Modi has taken care of every segment of the society without any discrimination or vote bank politics, said Dr. Jitendra Singh.
While appreciating the Direct Bank Transfer conceptualised by PM Narendra Modi, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, (DBT) has garnered international recognition, has become the role model for the world and has been able to save one lakh crore which is a massive achievement of PM Modi led Government.
Dr Jitendra Singh said another important aspect of these schemes is that these are largely women driven empowering women be that MUDRA, PMAY etc. as the PM Modi led Government is strongly focussing on Nari Shakti, Youth, farmers and poor.