JAMMU, Nov 16: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha highlighted the key reforms and steps taken for managing the UT’s economy during Covid, its growth potential, focus areas, besides putting across issues that require consideration by the Union Government during interaction with the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in a meeting chaired by her.
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs held interactions with Chief Ministers, Finance Ministers of all States, and Lt 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.
Highlighting the steps taken for growth in economy, the Lt Governor said that investment in J&K UT is expected to reach Rs. 35,000 Crore by December 2021 and proposals for Rs. 25,000 Crore have already been received; besides land has been approved for proposals worth Rs.1700 Crore. He added that out of 6000 acres of land earmarked for the development of Industrial Estates, 3000 acres have already been identified.
Speaking on the tourism sector, the Lt Governor outlined that the J&K Tourism Policy 2020 has been notified to boost the Tourism Sector. He informed that the tourist footfall has increased manifold in the UT during winter months. From 1935 tourists in June 2020, the number has increased to 1282572 in September 2021.
The Lt Governor 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.
On the steps taken for managing economy, the Lt Governor said that a holistic package of Rs. 1353 crore was announced during last year for Inclusive Growth by which 3.44 lakh account of borrowers involving Rs 750 crore were benefitted by interest subvention of 5% under Business Revival.
Elaborating on the key focus areas of the UT, the Lt Governor said that after the democratic decentralization 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 that export promotion for Agricultural and Horticulture products, revival of handicraft and traditional art in J&K, development of heritage sites and enhancing Pilgrimage tourism, sports Infrastructure improvement with Youth empowerment and engagement, Improvement of basic amenities like Power,Water supply, Solid Waste Management, Road Connectivity, and health sector are priorities.
The Lt 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 UT 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 as provided under GFR.
The Lt Governor also talked about the recent e-initiatives for bringing unprecedented transparency and accountability in the governance system of J&K, which include BEAMS, e-Office, Transparency in execution of works, PROOF (Photographic Record of On-site Facility), Empowerment (Enabling Monitoring & Public Overview of works being executed and resources for meaningful transparency), besides various other e-initiatives aiming at better financial discipline.