English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

J&K seeks Rs 25,000 crore investment for revival of economy

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Monday that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in coordination with the Centre, was securing Rs 25,000 crore worth investment for revival of trade, tourism, industry and handicrafts in the economically depressed union territory.

During a visit to the frontier area of Machhil in Kupwara district of northern Kashmir in connection with Phase-III of the government’s ‘Back to Village’ program, Sinha said an investment of Rs 25,000 crore would be secured for revival of the UT’s economy. Infrastructure development, he said, would be a key feature of the initiative.

In 2018-19, then Governor Satya Pal Malik had made preparations for holding a global investment summit in Srinagar. However, his initiative did not make much progress as the state was bifurcated into the two UTs of J&K and Ladakh in August 2019. In October last year, there was a change at the Raj Bhawan when career bureaucrat Girish Chandra Murmu took over as the J&K UT’s first LG.

Murmu, along with Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, visited potential investors, industrialists and filmmakers in Mumbai and deployed teams of the senior bureaucrats and officers to several states across India to seek participation and commitment to substantial investments in J&K. However, this campaign fell flat with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. In August, BJP politician Sinha replaced Murmu as the LG.

Sinha’s first reference to the proposed Rs 25,000 crore investment is obviously an indication of the UT government attaching priority to inviting investors in different sectors to revive the region's economy.

In his interaction with officers and local people, Sinha said, “I believe in action, not announcements. I will not rest until all villages of J&K are provided with basic amenities. We do not lack funds, but awareness and planned execution. Rs 200 crore have been allotted for development of the village industries in J&K. We are going to secure investment of more than Rs 25,000 crore very soon”.

Sinha added: “I want to create an ecosystem in J&K, which promotes self-employment, enterprises, manufacturing, industries and also bridges the skill gaps to make rural areas of this union territory self-reliant”.

Sinha said there was a need to work on the promotion of local crafts and imparting traditional skill training to generate self-employment. In the last three months, 246 local youths, including 122 girls, had been trained for village entrepreneurship. Kupwara, he said, figured in the list of the best performing aspirational districts. He asserted that the border district would be turned into a modern industrial hub for walnut production and processing. Kupwara, he said, had immense but unexploited potential of producing and processing 50,000 tonnes of walnut and 300,000 tonnes of apples every year.

“I want to make Kupwara a modern industrial hub for walnut production and processing. A single unit set with a cost of Rs 10 lakh could generate employment for 20-25 individuals with annual production of 30 tonnes of walnut”, Sinha said, asking the district administration and the Panchayats to generate cluster plans for walnut and apple processing in the district.

“The government is helping people set up food processing units by giving 50% amount of the total investment. Two educated youths from every Panchayat are provided Rs 5 lakh each to set up business units during the third phase of the Back to Village programme. More than 8,000 youth will be benefited from this initiative across J&K and a special desk has been set up by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank for assisting young boys and girls in setting up their business units", the LG asserted.

Sinha distributed Kisan Credit Cards and sports kits and handed over financial assistance and various certificates, including sanction letters, to the beneficiaries of different departmental schemes.

Speaking on the promotion of sports activities, the Lt Governor observed that all Panchayats have been provided sports kits according to local preferences. He expressed satisfaction over the construction of three indoor stadia in the district and completion of 341 out of 385 projected playgrounds.

On the occasion, Sinha inaugurated 33 KV Khumriyal-Machil power transmission connecting Machhil area to the National Grid for the first time. He also inaugurated the BSNL V-Sat for high speed internet and 24 concrete bunkers to protect the civilian population from the shelling from across the LoC. He greeted the people of Machhil and Keran for getting electricity through National Electricity Grid, ending their 70-year-long wait. He attributed the power connectivity to the Prime Minister’s ‘Inclusive Development’ mission..