The Bold Voice of J&K

J&K stands among developed region of India on some measurable milestones: LG

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‘Tourism in UT reflection of multi-religious, multi-cultural ethos of India’


SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Tuesday said that Jammu and Kashmir stands now among the developed regions of India on some measurable milestones, and the administration is committed for people’s prosperity, both economically and socially.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completely eliminated injustice, exploitation and discrimination which several sections of society faced for seven long decades owing to circumstances that evolved mostly because of orchestration from abroad”, the Lt Governor said while addressing the meeting of the 3rd Tourism Working Group (TWG) of G20.
“We are ensuring social equality and equal economic opportunity to all citizens, which is also enabling them to contribute to the nation building,” the Lt Governor said, adding that the Prime Minister through development schemes that empowers masses and Union Territory’s effective administration has isolated the terror eco-system in Jammu and Kashmir, which thrived with the support from across the border.
“Now even foreign investments are also coming into Jammu and Kashmir, green shoots of better times people are anxiously looking up to,” he maintained.

Today’s J&K is land of peace, prosperity; not land of hartals, stone pelters: Sinha
SRINAGAR: Today’s Jammu Kashmir is not a land of hartals or stone pelters, it’s a land of peace and prosperity that responsible and responsive administration is trying too hard to bring in lives of the people, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday.
“I can confidently say that under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jammu Kashmir is on the move. By adopting whole of government approach, ecosystem of terror sponsored by our neighbour has been almost dismantled. Schools and colleges remain open allowing youth to focus on career building”, the Lieutenant Governor said while addressing a press conference here.
He said Jammu Kashmir is governed by the Constitution of India, which has established rule of law and supremacy of the people. Grass-root democracy has been growing from strength to strength. The three-tier PRI system has ensured stability and consistency in development and participation of people in policy making. We have an open and vibrant press and more than 400 newspapers are published every day. The digital revolution has unleashed socio-cultural transformation, which has empowered every section of the society, especially young generation, he added.
Sinha expressed his deepest gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing this historic opportunity to Union territory of J&K to host 3rd Tourism Working Group meeting of G20 member nations and observer countries. We had a very exciting and productive inaugural session earlier today. The significant deliberation, exchange of views and perspectives will help in building a frame work based on five priority areas for sustainable tourism as we advance towards post Covid pandemic era. I have also been informed that the ongoing 3rd Tourism Working Group Meeting in Srinagar is the biggest gathering of foreign delegates so far. I think it is bigger than previous TWG meetings in Siliguri and Gujarat, and except China, all G20 nations delegates, representatives and other stakeholders of tourism industry of the respective countries are participating in the event. I have been informed that 57 delegates from 27 countries are participating in the G20 meeting at Srinagar and it is reflection of India’s strength and our ancient values of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, he said.
The Lieutenant Governor said that Jammu Kashmir is fully committed to the effort to build on shared aspirations for sustainable tourism and the Prime Minister has accorded highest priority to sustainable social and economic development of Jammu Kashmir. In the past 4 years, policies and programmes have been reshaped so that the benefits of growth percolate to the masses and nurture the nature. In tourism sector, there has been unprecedented increase in the tourist footfall after the second wave of Covid pandemic with 18 million tourists thronging the UT last year, which, he said was unparalleled since Independence.
“Our focus on green tourism, off beat destinations, involvement of local communities, and according industry status to tourism sector has turned this sector into one of the most flourishing industries in Jammu Kashmir. Our sustained reforms, including a new film policy, modern infrastructure and ease of doing business, has transformed Jammu Kashmir into a preferred destination for shooting of films, which is also strengthening the economy and providing employment opportunity to the people. Overall tourism offered large number of employment and contributed around 7 per cent to its GDP in last fiscal year”, Sinha maintained.
With more than 65% population below 35 years of age, we are witnessing emergence of a powerful force of youth that is contributing to invention, innovation and research, Sinha said adding that last year 6 million youth participated in various sporting events across Jammu Kashmir. Every district has a multi-purpose indoor sports hall. Gulmarg is being transformed into world-class winter sports destination, he added.
“We wanted to take our G20 delegates to Gulmarg and show them its scenic beauty but due to time constraint it may not happen this time”, he said.
Referring to the grass-root level empowerment, the Lieutenant Governor said that all the 4292 Panchayats in Jammu Kashmir have a Youth Club to seize the opportunity globalization has to offer. A dedicated department Mission Youth has been set up to help young men and women to achieve their dreams and build a vibrant society free from fear, discrimination and exploitation, he added.
“Under the guidance of Prime Minister, we have taken a very wide range of decisions to accelerate the implementation of mega infrastructure projects, modernization of health, agriculture, energy sector, and brought transparency and accountability in the governance system to script a new chapter of growth in Jammu Kashmir”, Sinha said.
The Lieutenant Governor said that Jammu Kashmir is future ready and is ambitious which is reflected by multi-sectoral achievements.
“We are registering a new start-up every other day. In the last four years, we have registered 7.7 lakh new entrepreneurs, which roughly means that per day 527 youth started their entrepreneurial journey to contribute to their individual and Jammu Kashmir’s growth”, he added.
“And, this is not all. We are ensuring fast industrial development to bring rapid social transformation. On an average, we are receiving 7 to 8 applications every day from different industrial houses from India and abroad, who are willing to set up their facilities here. In 2022, on an average one industry became operational per day” he said.
He said in a very short span of time, J&K is advancing towards building a digital society. More than 450 public services are being offered in online mode and the entire administration is paperless, he said.
Sinha said that Jammu Kashmir recorded 1.2 million e-transactions per day in 2022. In the first 4 month of 2023, 2.3 million e-transactions have been recorded, which is higher than many other states. With more than 150 higher education institutions, two central universities, seven state universities and by establishing all premier educational institutions, Jammu Kashmir is ready to contribute to India’s knowledge economy, he said.
“Our speed to execute projects post 2019 has gone up by 10 times. In 2018, 9229 projects were completed whereas in the last financial year, we have completed 92,560 projects. We are building an effective and efficient rural infrastructure. The number and fast-paced developments show our resolve to build Aatm-Nirbhar Jammu Kashmir”, Sinha said.
“We are working with innovative approaches to exploit our strength and empower our farmers. With sustained efforts in the last 2-3 years while managing pandemic, Jammu Kashmir figures in the top five states of the country in terms of monthly farm income. We are implementing 29 projects worth Rs.5013 crore, to increase farmer’s income by 4 times in the next five years. We are number one in terms of production of saffron, apple, walnut and almond in India, and industries in processing and value additions will provide new height to Jammu Kashmir”, he added.
Referring to quiet transformation taking place at the level of women led enterprises, the Lieutenant Governor said that over 6 lakh women entrepreneurs through self-help groups are reaching global scales in terms of quality and output. Jammu Kashmir is becoming a centre and export hub for diverse goods, from agricultural products to handicrafts to horticulture produce. All these strengths have resulted in a greater integration with the global market, which has helped us to lay foundation for even better prospects ahead, he said.
Sinha said that the achievements show that the government is firmly committed to continue with the reform process and accelerated development in every sector.
“This is just the beginning of the turnaround of Jammu Kashmir, the crown of incredible India. He recalled Sri Aurobindo saying, “The sun of India’s destiny would rise and fill all India with its light and overflow India and overflow Asia and overflow the world.”

The Lieutenant Governor underlined why J&K was selected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for G20 meeting. He explained that Jammu Kashmir is witnessing a new era under the leadership of PM and it has opened up limitless possibilities of growth and peace.
He also said that tourism in Jammu Kashmir is also a reflection of multi-religious and multi-cultural ethos of India.
The Lt Governor underlined the importance of peace for growth and tourism.
“Tourism cannot grow in isolation. The economics of it is fine, that tourism needs good infrastructure, sound policies and effective and responsive administration. No less fundamental to me is the fact that only peace and happiness of people can bring warmth in the hospitality, we Indians eternally enjoy,” the Lt Governor said.
Throwing light on the transformation of Jammu Kashmir, the Lt Governor said that the grass root democracy has been strengthened; new industries are coming up, rapid agricultural growth is making our villages prosperous, new institutions have been opened up in higher education, youths are being trained for Industry 4.0 technologies, infrastructure development is progressing rapidly and our emphasis on technology is transforming Jammu Kashmir into a digital society. He said in the past 4 years, the ranking of Jammu Kashmir on the various parameters of sustainable development goals have gone up, thanks to visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi.
“The world can see that entire society, especially the young generation is scripting a bright future for themselves and the nation. The speed and scale of rapid development in Jammu Kashmir are awe-inspiring. Our speed to execute infrastructure projects has gone up almost 10 times,” the Lt Governor said.
Acknowledging the impact of COVID pandemic on the tourism and world, the Lt Governor said, COVID pandemic made the world realize the hard way the virtues of traveller’s well-being and also the values of a shared vision One earth, One family and One future.
“The paradigm shift towards sustainable living, inclusive and sustainable development is also an opportunity to provide new impetus to sustainable tourism. I am truly delighted that under India’s G20 Presidency, the G20 Tourism Working Group is focusing on five inter-connected priority areas. Green tourism, digitalization, skills, tourism MSMEs and destination management will provide a roadmap for tourism as a tool for achieving sustainable development goals,” the Lt Governor remarked as he noted that Jammu and Kashmir is already working on a few of the priority areas identified by the G20 Tourism Working Group like on Green Tourism, Skills, Tourism MSMEs and Digitalization.
He emphasised that in the post-pandemic era five key building blocks will promote environmental awareness, protect the ecology and improve the economy and livelihoods of communities and inclusive growth of stakeholders.
Underlining that the G20 TWG meeting is taking place in the land of majestic peaks, crystal-clear lakes and serene green landscape, the Lt Governor said, Jammu Kashmir is more than a tourism destination.
“It is poetry. It’s a land of realisation. It is an energy field vibrating with the ageless Indian cultural values. Under the guidance of Prime Minister Modi, we have ensured that the transition in tourism sector in the backdrop of pandemic focuses on needs of travellers, interests of industry stakeholders, creates employment opportunities and promote environmental awareness,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor noted that a record number of 18 million tourists visited Jammu Kashmir last year and the tourism sector made 7 per cent contribution to the GDP of the UT. We have identified 300 new destinations to promote green tourism, small and medium enterprises, youth and women entrepreneurs and involve local communities to support the sustainable tourism.
“Tourism sector in Jammu Kashmir has been accorded the status of industry and all fiscal incentives as per our Industrial Policy and I can tell you, we are receiving massive investment proposals from the industries in hospitality sector,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor said that after a long pause of almost 4-decades, J&K UT administration has revived the relationship with Bollywood and launched a film policy in 2021 to attract more investment into film sector. He also said that more than 300 movies were filmed in the region last year and such enthusiasm is bringing about a qualitative change in the lives of people.
“Our aim is to make the countryside and popular destinations more sustainable and preserve the beauty of fascinating heritage sites. I am confident, under the leadership of Prime Minister Jammu Kashmir will soon find its place in the top 50 destinations in the world and it will be on the travel bucket list of global travellers,” the Lt Governor observed.
During the inaugural session Union Tourism Minister, G. Kishan Reddy; Union MoS Dr. Jitendra Singh; Union MoS Ajay Bhatt; G20 Sherpa, Amitabh Kant; G20 Chief Coordinator, Harsh Vardhan Shringla; delegates of G20 nations, invitees from observer countries and representatives from various multi-lateral organisations were present.

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