Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that in a major push to development, peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre will invest Rs 30,000 crore in the next three years
” Centre is ready with a massive economic package to ensure peace, stability and development in the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha said in an interview to Zee News.
Sinha also shed light on the socio-economic and political changes being witnessed in J&K after the Centre scrapped Article 370 from the erstwhile state and converted it into a Union Territory.
L-G Sinha said Jammu Kashmir is not only beautiful from nature’s point of view but the residents of J&K are also ”extremely talented”. Despite the immense potential, the people did not have access to the outside world. However, the winds of change are blowing in J&K and people have started to acknowledge that it is for their own betterment, he added.
Replying to a question on militancy and rampant corruption, Sinha said the budget of Jammu and Kashmir is more than that of other states, and from time to time, the Central Government has also given considerable financial help to J&K. “But the locals here have not benefitted from it. Due to the lack of industries, locals are heavily dependent on government jobs for employment. It is a pity that Jammu and Kashmir could not be developed at the same pace as the rest of the country,” Sinha said.
L-G Sinha added that as far as militancy is concerned, the Indian security forces have been able to keep it under control to a greater extent than ever before.
“Our security forces have been highly successful in stopping infiltration almost. The ‘mahaparva’ of democracy (J&K DDC polls) has just concluded. We are happy that elections were held freely, peacefully, and fairly. This time the voting percentage has increased compared to the last election and not a single polling worker was attacked or injured in any untoward incident. Despite the conspiracies being hatched by neighbouring countries, we have conducted peaceful elections,” the LG said.
Replying to the question that ”unemployment is a big challenge” in Jammu and Kashmir and what is the Centre’s roadmap to address this issue, LG Sinha said, “The PM has announced a massive development package in 2015, situation is fast changing here. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the pace of development, but it has again accelerated in the past 3 months. Out of 54 projects, 20 have been completed and the remaining ones will be completed by June. The major projects will be completed by 2022. Apart from this, PM has announced to provide 2 AIIMS, 5 Medical Colleges, NITs, IITs and IIMs, and other Centers of Excellence. These projects will be completed on time too.’’
Referring to the problems being faced by the unemployed Kashmiri youths, the J&K Governor said, “We have started work on three-four fronts. Under this, a task force has been formed to implement the Centre’s new education policy here. Secondly, recruitment for the jobs which are in the government sector is being done within a timeframe. We will give 25 thousand government jobs in the next 6 months. But only government jobs are not enough, so the govt will soon bring a new policy of industrialization. After Finance Ministry’s approval, the Union Cabinet is likely to clear it soon.’’
“In the coming 2-3 years, the Centre is mulling an investment of about Rs 30 thousand crores in Jammu and Kashmir. For this, a land bank of 3,000 acres has been created for developing industrial parks.”
“The Centre’s roadmap has been prepared for the development of Jammu and Kashmir which envisages participation of people from industry, academy, social sector. At present, the Tata Group has started a skill development center in Baramulla. A similar centre will start functioning in Jammu in January. Ashok Leyland is building the Motor Training Institute. Apart from these, big industrial groups like ICICI, Wipro, Hinduja, Adani, Ambani etc. are also doing something here.”
”There is a plan to connect youths with sports, arts, culture. Many schemes are being implemented here. There is a plan to provide employment to 80 percent of the state’s youth by 2025,” Sinha said.
Talking about the new land act, Sinha said, “it will boost the economy here. Just as the rights of the local people have been secured in Uttarakhand, the same will be secured here as well. Good private hospitals, educational institutions should be made for common people, we will ensure this.’’