Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday said investments in the Union Territory are expected to reach Rs 35,000 crore by December 2021, and proposals for Rs 25,000-crore funding have already been received.
Sinha highlighted the key reforms and steps taken for managing the UT’s economy during COVID-19, its growth potential and focus areas, besides putting across issues that require consideration by the Union government during interaction with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a meeting chaired by her.
Highlighting the steps taken for growth in the economy, the lieutenant governor said “the investment in J&K is expected to reach Rs 35,000 crore by December 2021 and proposals for Rs 25,000 crore have already been received”.
He said that land had been approved for proposals worth Rs 1,700 crore. “Out of 6,000 acres of land earmarked for the development of industrial estates, 3,000 acres have already been identified.”
On the steps taken for managing the economy, the lieutenant governor said a holistic package of Rs 1,353 crore was announced during last year for inclusive growth by which 3.44 lakh account of borrowers involving Rs 750 crore were benefitted by an interest subvention of 5 per cent under business revival.
The Union finance minister held interactions with chief ministers, finance ministers of all states and lieutenant 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.
Speaking on the tourism sector, Sinha outlined that the J&K Tourism Policy 2020 has been notified to boost the industry.
He said the tourist footfall has increased manifold in the UT during winter months. He added that from 1,935 tourists in June 2020, the number has increased to 12,82,572 in September 2021.
Sinha also observed that the tax collection has shown significant growth and resilience. Therefore, the UT is expecting to achieve the GST and excise collection targets over the remaining period of the year.
Elaborating on the key focus areas of the UT, the Lt Governor said that after the democratic decentralisation in the spirit of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment Act, 14 sectors have been identified for investment at a large scale with a particular focus on tourism and employment.
He said export promotion for agricultural and horticulture products, the revival of handicraft and traditional art in J&K, development of heritage sites and enhancing pilgrimage tourism, and sports infrastructure improvement, among others, are priorities.
Sinha added that under the Mission Youth, first-of-its-kind initiative, focus is being laid on livelihood generation, education and skill development, counseling, financial assistance, sports, and recreation with 4,500 youth clubs under process of establishment.
Moreover, under Mumkin, 250 vehicles have been distributed among eligible youth for their sustainable livelihood in the transport sector, and 200 women applicants have been facilitated for generating their livelihood via Tajeswani schemd.
The lieutenant 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 has been number one in the country for enforcing reforms in expenditure management and account of each penny is available in public domain. Therefore, the funds are being spent after following all the norms.
Delegation of Jammu University Teachers’ Association calls on Lt Governor
Today, the office-bearers of the Jammu University Teachers’ Association called on Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhawan.
The delegation led by the President of the Association, Prof. Pankaj Srivastava, submitted a memorandum of demands to the Lt Governor pertaining to various welfare issues of the teachers of the University including promotion under CAS; grant of earned leave and enhancement of the age of superannuation to 65 years in favour of teachers, and various other benefits as per UGC regulations, besides establishment of housing society exclusively for University teachers.
The Lt Governor, while interacting with the delegation members, advised them to make continuous efforts to create a conducive environment for learning and innovation in the University.
The Lt Governor assured them that the issues projected would be looked into meticulously for their early redressal.
JKP Border Battalion aspirants submit memorandum to Div Com Jammu
Today, a delegation of aspirants seeking recruitment in the Jammu and Kashmir Police Border Battalion called on Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer.
The Aspirants apprised the Divisional Commissioner that they had applied for the post of Head Constable advertised by the Jammu and Kashmir Police Recruitment Board in 2019 and appeared in Physical and medical tests. But now, the JKP HQRS (police recruitment board) has reissued an advertisement notification for the recruitment of Head Constable in the border battalion.
The Aspirants demanded the withdrawal of the new advertisement issued by JKP HQRS. They further appealed to conduct the written examination of already qualified candidates and give a separate ad for more vacancies.
The Divisional Commissioner gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured that the matter would be taken up with police authorities.
Centre extends COVID-19 restrictions till February 28
On Thursday, the Central Government extended the existing COVID-related restrictions until February 28 because of the rising COVID-19 and Omicron variants.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the order directing all the states and the Union Territories (UTs) to instruct their local and district administrations to promptly take containment measures against the threat of the Omicron variant based on their assessment of the situation.
Taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at the district and local level, as conveyed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the MHA order mentioned that COVID restrictions “will remain in force till February 28, 2022.”
“In exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that the Order of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ of even number dated December 27, 2021, to ensure compliance to the normative framework for taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at district and local level, as conveyed vide Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) dated December 21, 2021, will remain in force up to February 28, 2022,” the order mentioned.
According to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday, the order was issued when India logged 2,86,384 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 40,371,500.
As per the order, containment measures have been extended to February 28.
“Due to the current COVID wave, led by the new variant, Omicron, there has been a steady increase in the number of COVID cases in the country and the active cases have increased to over 22 lakhs. Though a majority of active cases are recovering fast and a low percentage of cases are in hospitals, it is still a matter of concern that 407 districts in 34 States and UTs are reporting a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent,” the order said.
Therefore, looking at the current trends of the COVID virus, the order said there is a need to exercise caution and vigilance.
Against this background, the order issued by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “I would like to reiterate that all the states/UTs must observe all precautions and not let the guard down”.
“Based on the normative framework, mentioned in the MoHFW dated December 21, 2021, and assessment of the situation, local/district administration should continue to take prompt and appropriate containment measures.”
The order directs “imposition and lifting of local curbs or restrictions dynamic and based on the case positivity and hospitalisation status at the local level”.
It also emphasised that there should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy– Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
“The state enforcement machinery should strictly enforce the norms of COVID Appropriate Behaviour– wearing of face masks and maintaining safe social distancing in all public areas/gatherings,” the order further reads.
Further, states and UTs are advised to continue holding regular media briefings to disseminate the right information and discourage any misinformation on new variants of concern.
It is also urged to issue necessary directions to the districts and all other local authorities concerned to take the measures required for prompt and effective management of COVID-19, strict compliance with various advisories issued by the MoHFW on the new VOC and strict enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
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- Centre extends COVID-19 restrictions till February 28 January 28, 2022
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