Jammu- Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday said investments in the Union Territory are expected to reach Rs 35,000 crore by December 2021 and proposals for Rs 25,000-crore funding have already been received.
Sinha highlighted the key reforms and steps taken for managing the UT’s economy during COVID-19, its growth potential and focus areas, besides putting across issues that require consideration by the Union government during interaction with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a meeting chaired by her.
Highlighting the steps taken for growth in the economy, the lieutenant governor said “the investment in J&K is expected to reach Rs 35,000 crore by December 2021 and proposals for Rs 25,000 crore have already been received”.
He said that land has been approved for proposals worth Rs 1,700 crore. “Out of 6,000 acres of land earmarked for the development of industrial estates, 3,000 acres have already been identified.”
On the steps taken for managing the economy, the lieutenant governor said a holistic package of Rs 1,353 crore was announced during last year for inclusive growth by which 3.44 lakh account of borrowers involving Rs 750 crore were benefitted by an interest subvention of 5 per cent under business revival.
The Union finance minister held interactions with chief ministers, finance ministers of all states and lieutenant governors of UTs via virtual conference, with a view to enhance the investment climate in the country and to step up investment, infrastructure, and growth through a consultative process in the post-pandemic world.
Speaking on the tourism sector, Sinha outlined that the J&K Tourism Policy 2020 has been notified to boost the sector.
He said the tourist footfall has increased manifold in the UT during winter months. From 1,935 tourists in June 2020, the number has increased to 12,82,572 in September 2021, he added.
Sinha also observed that the tax collection has shown significant growth and resilience and the UT is expecting to achieve the targets of the GST and excise collection over the remaining period of the year.
Elaborating on the key focus areas of the UT, the Lt Governor said that after the democratic decentralisation in the spirit of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment Act, 14 sectors have been identified for investment at a large scale with special focus on tourism and employment.
He said export promotion for agricultural and horticulture products, revival of handicraft and traditional art in J&K, development of heritage sites and enhancing pilgrimage tourism, and sports infrastructure improvement, among others, are priorities.
Sinha added that under the Mission Youth, first-of-its-kind initiative, focus is being laid on livelihood generation, education and skill development, counseling, financial assistance, sports, and recreation with 4,500 youth clubs under process of establishment.
Moreover, under Mumkin, 250 vehicles have been distributed among eligible youth for their sustainable livelihood in transport sector, and 200 women applicants have been facilitated for generating their livelihood via Tajeswani scheme, he said.
The lieutenant governor also put forth the challenges and issues faced by the UT, including resource gap, higher cost of delivery of services due to unique topography.
He also highlighted the issue of pending approvals of tourism projects under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
He highlighted that J&K has been number one in the country for enforcing reforms in expenditure management and account of each penny is available in public domain. The funds are being spent after following all the norms.