Jammu- Jammu & Kashmir witnessed economic growth of 14.64% and tax revenue was up by 31%, as 1.88 crore tourists visited the Union Territory last year. This was stated by the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday. He also said investment proposals worth Rs 70,000 crore have been received for industrial development.
“There is huge improvement in the law-and-order situation. It has good results as an unprecedented number of 1.88 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir. This is the previous year’s figure,” Sinha told a press conference here.
“Till late night, people are enjoying Sikara rides. They are taking dinners at restaurants and hotels. Cinemas are running smoothly,” he said.
The LG said night bus services have started in Kashmir. “I think this has started after 30 years. Schools and colleges and universities are running smoothly. Shops remain open,” he said.
On the Rs 1 lakh crore budget approved for Jammu and Kashmir, Sinha said, “It is the first budget of Amritkaal. It is 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.”
“We are trying to fulfil the dream of new Jammu and Kashmir during the last three years,” he said.
The LG said the Rs 1,18,500 crore budget will fulfil the dreams of all. “I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from the core of my heart for this budget. I am indebted to the Union home minister too”.
ON PROPERTY TAX
LG said there was no state or city in the country where property tax has not been imposed.
“Jammu and Kashmir was last in imposition of property. We have imposed the tax after due consideration and with sensitivity,” Sinha said while replying to a question at a press conference.
The LG drew comparison with neighbouring states and said there was no tax effect on 40 per cent of the residents in cities.
“There are 5.20 lakh houses in cities. Out of them, 2, 03,600 houses will only have to pay Rs 1,000 in a year. There is only some area of specific cities, rest of the houses will have lesser tax,” he said.
Sinha said the money collected would be spent on fulfilling the aspirations of the people.
LG said that genuine suggestions of the public on imposition of property tax would be considered.
Sinha said that suggestions submitted by the people would be analysed and those found genuine would be considered.
ON RECRUITMENT EXAMS
Replying to questions on the cancellation of recruitment examinations, he said people expressed suspicions on three recruitment tests. “A probe was held by a committee and something was found in it. So we cancelled three examinations. CBI probe was also ordered. The agency which was involved in the examination was withdrawn,” he said.
Elevated Metro Rail For Jammu, Srinagar In Coming Years
Asserting that his government is determined to fulfill aspirations of the people, Sinha said that Jammu and Kashmir will witness large-scale development activities, including elevated light metro rail in Jammu and Srinagar, 40,000 new houses for houseless families, medicities in the twin capital cities besides exclusive markets for ladies in major towns of the UT.
“In the three years of developmental journey, we have crossed uncounted milestones and have made attempts to turn the dream of Naya Jammu and Kashmir into a reality. Under the guidance of the Prime Minister, efforts are being made to make Jammu and Kashmir peaceful and prosperous and self-reliant,” Sinha said.
Listing the number of achievements of his administration, the LG said that last year J&K has witnessed economic growth of 14.64% and tax revenue has shown growth of 31%.
“The law and order situation has improved appreciably in J&K and this year the highest number of 1.88 crore tourists visited J&K,” he said, adding “ Even at late night, you can see people dining in restaurants or enjoying Shikara rides in the Dal Lakes. Cinema halls too are running normally,”
The LG said that night transport has been resumed in Kashmir after a gap of 30-long years brining much sought relief to the common masses.
Speaking about his government’s investment pitch, Sinha said that J&K received the highest ever investment of Rs 1547.87 crore during the last 10 months of the year. He said 500 startups have also come up during the last 3 years in the Union Territory.
“Unemployment rate is marginally reduced; 33426 Posts have been referred to recruiting agencies.25450 selections have been made including 2436 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 current year. Next year around 3 lakh will be covered under all the self-employment schemes,” he said.
The LG said that J&K has been ranked among top performers in the country for 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.
“In 2021-22, 50627 works have been 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,” Sinha said, adding that road construction has nearly doubled to 3200 kilometres against 1500-1600 Km in 2018.
Giving details of the new ideas of his administration, the LG said that seven new e- Governance initiatives are also been taken, including e-office to be extended in all offices, creation of online census management system, intelligent ticketing management system by JKRTC, creation of e-invoice system of GST, GST Data Triangulation and transition of GST IN into GST PRIME, linking of e-way bill to FASTag and VAHAN, creation of single unique helpline in J&K and e-bill system on PWOMAS to be extended to other Department.
His administration, the LG said, has laid focus of the budget on nine areas, including Good Governance, Strengthening Grass-root Democracy, Promoting Sustainable Agriculture, Facilitating Investment & Industrial Growth, Employment Generation, Accelerating Development & Inclusive Growth, Women Empowerment, and Social Inclusion and doubling GDP in next five years.
For Agriculture & Allied Sectors, the LG said an amount of Rs 3156 crore has been earmarked to benefit 13 lakh farmers of the Union Territory
“A Holistic Agriculture Development plan to be rolled out, with 29 proposed projects at an outlay of Rs 5012 crore over a period of next 5-years. Creation 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 said.
He further said that milk production will reach 45 Lakh MTs from 25 Lakh MTs over next 5 years, while Honey Production will also triple during the same period.
He said that over Rs 400 crore has been allocated to strengthen road connectivity and 6000 kilometers of black-topping of road length has been targeted for 2023-24. Besides it, he said, 353 new projects under NABARD, completion of 60 new bridges, Safety audit of bridges having completed 10 years, and development of Key roads as part of G20 summit meetings will also be taken up.
The budget, he said, will also lay emphasis on creation of 10,000 more self-help groups (SHGs), establishment of 1500 new Panchayat Ghars, 40,000 new houses for houseless families under PMAY-G, 18934 dwelling units to be completed under PMAY-U, and accomplishment of Sewage Management of Dal Lake.
“New townships and housing colonies to be established for economically weaker sections groups at Jammu and Srinagar. Ladies HAAT and ladies exclusive markets in Jammu, Srinagar and other major towns will also be established,” he said.
On the education front, he said, National Education Policy (NEP) will be fully implemented, while 2000 Kindergartens are proposed to be established during 2023-24 for providing quality pre-primary education, Drinking water facility and gender based toilet facility in all the Schools.
Besides, he said, Yoga training for all the students to be introduced as part of co-curricular activities, 188 virtual reality labs and 40 robotic labs will be set-up, 10 residential schools will be established with preference to tribal students and students from weaker sections and 1000 smart class rooms with LCD and high speed internet connectivity will also be established.
His administration, the LG said, will also start 29 new projects for development of industrial estates during 2023-24.
The LG said women only bus drivers and conductors will also be introduced, while buses and pink taxis will also roll on the roads for the fairer gender.
“Rs 400 crore provided for construction of transit accommodations for Kashmiri Migrant employees to be provided. Further 1984 transit accommodations to be completed in 2023-24,” he said.
He added that remaining posts of 355 out 6000 posts under PM Package for Kashmiri Migrants will also be filled while cash assistance and food grains for Kashmiri/ Jammu Migrants will continue and an amount of Rs 393 crore has been allocated for the same.
On the employment generation, Sinha said that vacant posts to be filled on a fast track basis, while a target has been set to cover 3 lakh youth under various self-employment schemes in 2023-24.
Besides it, he said, Skill Hubs will be created and Skill loans will be provided to aspiring candidates by J&K Bank.
“CCTV Surveillance system to be completed in all police stations and police posts. CCTV cameras with command and control systems will also be installed at public places,” he added.
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