Security scenario has improved, large number of tourists visited J&K: LG

LG Manoj Sinha addressing a press conference in Jammu on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
LG Manoj Sinha addressing a press conference in Jammu on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Industrial development proposals worth Rs 70,000 cr received
*UT budget to give priority to last person standing in queue
*Govt to ensure G20 delegates return with good experience

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Mar 29: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said today that security scenario has improved in Jammu and Kashmir and that a large number of tourists visited the Union Territory last year while proposals to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore have been received for industrial development.
Addressing a press conference here on annual budget of Jammu and Kashmir for the financial year of 2023-24 which was recently approved in the Parliament, Sinha said law and order situation has witnessed significant improvement.
“An unprecedented number of 1.88 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir. This is the previous year’s figure,” he said, adding the UT has also received industrial investment proposals to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore. Click hereto watch video
“Till late night, people are enjoying Shikara rides. They are taking dinners at restaurants and hotels. Cinemas are running smoothly,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
Asserting that night bus services have started in Kashmir, Sinha said: “I think this has been done after 30 years. Schools and colleges and universities are running smoothly. Shops remain open”.
On over Rs 1 lakh crore budget approved for Jammu and Kashmir, he said the budget is aimed at giving priority to last person standing in the queue. The budget will ensure that no person is left behind in development.
“We are following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘mantra’ of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vishwas’ to ensure that benefits of economic development reaches the last person,” he added.
Sinha announced that Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats will gets Rs 1313 crore in the budget. The DDCs and BDCs will get Rs 271.25 crore. Ladies Haat and Ladies Exclusive Markets are also proposed to be opened.
“It is first budget of Amritkaal. This is for the third time that Jammu and Kashmir’s budget has exceeded Rs one lakh crore to ensure development. This budget will give a fillip to the development journey during Amritkaal,” Sinha said, adding the Government is trying to fulfil the dream of new Jammu and Kashmir during the last three years”.
Maintaining that Rs 1,18,500 crore budget will fulfil the dreams of all, he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the budget and said he was indebted to the Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) too.
Sinha said that the UT has maintained great pace of development during the last 3-4 years.
Assuring the people of Jammu and Kashmir especially the youth of completely transparent recruitment, Sinha said that even a single irregularity pointed out in nearly 25,000 recruitment will be viewed seriously and action will be taken.
“We cancelled three exams after receiving report of irregularities. Probe was given to the most credible agency—the CBI. The APTECH was given responsibility for conducting the examination but then there was a court order. I assure the people especially youth that there will be transparent recruitment and none will be spared for any kind of irregularities,” he said.
On G20 meeting scheduled to be held in Srinagar in the coming days, the Lieutenant Governor said a Committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Home (RK Goyal) for making arrangements.
“The administration will ensure that G20 delegates return with good experience,” he added.
On Property Tax, Sinha said all suggestions received by the administration will be analyzed and genuine ones will be taken up for consideration.
He clarified that funds received from the Property Tax will be utilized by the Corporations to meet aspirations of the citizens.
Sinha said 500 Startups have come up during the last three years.
“J&K has witnessed economic growth of 14.64 per cent and tax revenue has shown growth of 31 per cent during last year. J&K has been among top performers in the country for the implementation of schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Amrit Sarovar, SVAMITVA Scheme, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Nasha Mukt Abhiyan and Renewable Energy Development. Most of the social security schemes have been saturated in J&K.
“Under ‘My Youth My Pride, Har Din Khel Har Ek Kay Liye Khel’, nearly 50 lakh youth have participated in different sports activities this year,” he added.
Under the Digital J&K initiative, 445 online services are being provided through e-UNNAT portal while 225 e-services have been integrated with Rapid Assessment System for real time feedback on quality of service delivery.
“All the online services have been linked with the Public Service Guarantee Act in J&K. J&K is the first among States/Union Territories to have a District Good Governance Index for assessing the public service delivery at district level. Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme, Aspirational Block Development Programme and Aspirational Town Development Programme are the three new initiatives being implemented in J&K. Unemployment rate is marginally reduced. 33,426 posts have been referred to recruiting agencies. 25,450 selections have been made, including 2,436 selections of J&K Bank Limited. Around 2,02,749 youth have been covered under various self-employment schemes and the target is to cover 2,37,000 by the end of the current year,” he added.
Next year around three lakh youth will be covered under all the self-employment schemes. In 2018-19, 9228 works were completed; 12,637 works in 2019-20, 21,943 in 2020-21 and in 2021-22, 50,627 works were completed and this year we expect 70,000 works to be completed. This is the paradigm shift in the pace of development in J&K over the last three to four years. Road construction nearly doubled to 3,200 kms against 1500-1600 Km in 2018, Sinha said.
He added that the Union Territory (UT) witnessed economic growth of 14.64% and tax revenue was up by 31%.
He said that under the tourism mission, Rs 447 crore have been allocated for 75 new destinations, 75 sufi/religious sites, 75 new cultural/heritage sites and 75 new tracks are being developed for economic gain of tourism industry.
The L-G said a holistic agriculture development plan is being rolled out, with 29 proposed projects at an outlay of ?5,012 crore over a period of next five years.
“It will create additional job opportunities to 2,87,910 people in agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors; 18,861 new business enterprises will be created over the period of next five years,” he added.
He said Rs 400 crore will be provided for the construction of transit accommodations for Kashmiri migrant employees.
“Further 1984 transit accommodations will be completed in 2023-24,” he added.
The Lieutenant Governor said the remaining posts of 355 out of 6,000 posts under PM Package for Kashmiri migrants will be filled.
“Cash assistance and food grains for Kashmiri/Jammu Migrants will continue for which Rs 393 have been allocated,” he added.
Sinha said that the budget 2023-24 will be focussing on nine-sectors for an overall development and progress of the Union Territory.
“In the budget 2023-24, focus will be laid on nine key sectors, which will further expedite progress and development in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
He stated that the Budget 2023-24 will focus on sectors comprising good governance, strengthening grass-root democracy, promoting sustainable agriculture, facilitating investment and industrial growth, employment generation, accelerating development and inclusive growth, women empowerment, social inclusion and doubling GDP in next five years.
Asserting that around 70 lakh youth will participate in different sports activities in the year 2023-24, Sinha said that an allocated budget of Rs 145 crores will further boost and augment the sports sector in the Union Territory and transform into a power of sports.
“Jammu and Kashmir is becoming a powerhouse in the sports sector,” he added.
The Lieutenant Governor further said that 25 national events will be hosted in different sports disciplines under “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Abhiyan”, adding, “we are connecting more youth into sports and it is visible on ground that sports is enthusiastically being played everywhere across the Union Territory.”
“We are committed to encourage this sector and special emphasis is being laid for sports promotion,” said Sinha adding that Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a boom in the sports sector.
“Yoga centres at Maulana Azad Stadium Jammu and Bakshi Stadium Srinagar will be established,” said Sinha adding that women participation in sports and para athletics will be encouraged.