Historic Budget Aims to Rebuild Economy, Create Jobs: LG

  • Quantum Jump for all sectors; Money will be utilized for welfare of the people without discrimination.
  • Financial support extended to 25,000 youth under various schemes, target set for doubling the numbers this year

JAMMU: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today held a press conference to highlight the significance of Budget-2021-22 for Jammu and Kashmir, besides the set targets & road-map being laid down by the J&K Government for the development of the UT and welfare of its people.

Addressing the media persons, the Lt Governor termed the Rs 1,08,621 cr Budget approved by the Central Government as historic.

“This is a budget to rebuild the economy, create jobs and secure the future of the people of Jammu & Kashmir”, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor observed that the quantum jump in the allocation of Budget in all sectors itself speaks about the strong resolve of the Hon’ble Prime Minister towards the development of J&K.

J&K has been getting a larger per capita budget than other states even in the past. It will be ensured that the work is being done on ground and the money is utilized for the welfare of the people without discrimination, besides tapping the potential of the sectors which are less explored, said the Lt Governor.

The enhanced budget will go a long way in making J&K self-sufficient, thus contributing towards Prime Minister’s goal of Atmna Nirbhar Bharat, added the Lt Governor.

Giving a comparative analysis of the Budget for the year 2021-22 vis-a-vis the previous Budget, the Lt Governor made a sector-wise comparison.

Speaking on the budget allocation for Jal Shakti Department, the Lt Governor remarked that with the quantum jump of Rs 5102 cr, taking the total to Rs 6346 cr, the Government is eyeing to achieve the target under Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Har Ghar Nal se Jal’ programme within the timeframe.

100 % saturation under ‘Har Ghar Nal se Jal’ in 13 districts of the UT will be completed this year, announced the Lt Governor.

Working in this direction, Village Action Plan and 4048 Paani Samitis have already been established, he added.

He informed that the provision of Rs 2008 cr has been kept for Agriculture & Horticulture sectors, which is Rs 695 cr more than the previous Budget’s allocation. For Rural Development, Rs 4817 cr is allocated, which is Rs 342 cr more. Tourism sector witnessed a hike of Rs 509 cr , taking the budget allocation to Rs 786 cr.

Speaking on the Health & Medical Education sector, the Lt Governor observed that this sector witnessed major transformation in the last two years. And, for the year 2021-22, the sector has an allocation of Rs 1456 cr , around Rs 190 cr more than the previous one.

Rs 120 cr increase for the Power sector takes its total allocation to Rs 2728 cr. However, approved projects worth Rs 54,000 crore to generate 3500 Megawatt in three to four years to make J&K power surplus is a separate entity, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor observed the allocation of Rs 2710 cr for Housing & Urban Development sector, a steep hike of Rs 1432 cr from the previous Budget, will give a determined push for the development of the Jammu and Srinagar into model cities, besides the development of other municipalities as well.

Road & Bridges Sector gets Rs 4089 crore, an increase of Rs 467 crore, Social Security Sector receives Rs 174 crore, which is a hike of Rs 59 crore, Education sector has been allocated Rs 1873 crore, an increase of Rs 523 crore.

Similarly, the total allocation of Rs 648 cr for Industries and Commerce sector, which is Rs 291 crore more than the previous, will generate more employability and bring more investment. An amount of Rs 200 cr has been kept for Youth empowerment, added the Lt Governor.

The provision of the Budget for Relief & Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits has also increased. For the welfare of Kashmiri Pandit community, the work on 6000 jobs for them has been accelerated, the Lt Governor maintained.

After establishing grass-root democracy, with the highest ever budget envisaged for Jammu and Kashmir, the Government is focusing on grass-root development in the UT, observed the Lt Governor.

For empowerment of District Development Councils (DDCs) and Block Development Councils (BDCs), a provision of Rs 200 crore for 20 DDCs (Rs 10 cr for each DDC) of Jammu and Kashmir, besides Rs 25 lakhs has been kept for each BDC. Further, Rs 30 crore has been earmarked for establishment of DDC/BDC offices. A hefty amount of Rs 1313 crore has been allocated for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)/Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), he added.

Maintaining transparency in the working of the administration is the focus area of the Government. Efforts are afoot to ensure effective monitoring and timely execution of works. Budget Estimation and Allocation Monitoring System (B.E.A.M.S) has made the system more transparent and has eliminated the scope of corruption, observed the Lt Governor.

Underscoring the targets set by the Government aimed at creating more livelihood opportunities and accelerating the development process, the Lt Governor said that as many as 25,000 youth of the UT have been provided with financial support under various schemes to start their own businesses and this year, we aim to double the opportunities for the youth.

Government is also aiming to strengthen the road network across the UT. The targets of completion of 4500 km length of road under PMGSY, providing road connectivity to 150 unconnected villages, blacktopping of 8000 km road length, developing pot-hole free roads connecting District Headquarters, Tehsils, & Blocks in Jammu & Srinagar are being set for this year, besides dedicated focus will be laid on prominent tourist places, the Lt Governor maintained.

The Lt Governor also spoke on the Power generation, distribution and transmission. He said that the government is making untiring efforts to provide 24×7 quality electricity to the people of J&K in the coming years. The Government is reaching out to the unconnected habitations to provide electricity through the grid, he added.

On growth and promotion of the sports sector, the Lt Governor announced that a comprehensive mechanism is being laid down for engaging 15 lakhs boys & girls in different sports activities in adherence to all the COVID related SoPs.

‘Rehabilitation of KP Migrants on Cards’

Hinting that a proper rehabilitation plan for migrant Kashmiri Pandits may be in the pipeline, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday said a lot has been thought about the community and soon “something is going to happen which you have not even imagined”.

He also said 8,000 underground bunkers have been completed along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) for the safety of border residents and 1,200 more such structures will be constructed during the next financial year.

“We are also talking about 6,000 jobs and an equal number of residential accommodation for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the valley. This is a minute part of rehabilitation of the community in the valley,” Sinha told reporters here.

Responding to a question about linking the prime minister’s employment package with the overall rehabilitation of Pandits living in exile in the valley, he said rehabilitation is a different thing altogether.

“These 6,000 jobs for the community were notified earlier but the (recruitment) process got delayed due to various reasons. This is a minute part of the rehabilitation of the community. Our first priority was to complete the process as soon as possible and it has now reached the final stage,” he said.

Sinha said it is not the final package for the community and the government is doing more for them in the near future. “A lot has been thought about the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits which I do not want to make public today. Shortly, you will get information that something is going to happen which you have not even imagined,” he said.

Asked about a clause in the contract of Pandit employees that they have to leave their residential quarters on retirement, he said, “I have taken note of it and this will be looked into.”

On the welfare measures proposed for border residents who have suffered immensely due to Pakistani shelling over the years, the Lt Governor said 8,000 underground bunkers have been constructed so far for their safety, while 1,200 more such structures are being built during the next financial year.

“There is a provision in the budget for them as well. And if there is a need, more will be done for them,” he said.

Fortunately, he said, the shelling by Pakistan has stopped (with PTI inputs)

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