JAMMU, Sept 11: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today took an indirect dig at the “family rule” saying such was the system that only selected families are known in Jammu and Kashmir because of the conditions prevailing earlier and declared that the culture of calendars for bandhs and hartals has been finished and there has been significant improvement in law and order situation in the Union Territory.
In his inaugural hour-long address at two-day conclave of Gulistan channel named `Badalta Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh’ here this afternoon, Sinha stressed for increase in revenue generation in Jammu and Kashmir though he disclosed that GST, Excise, ST and other taxes have recorded 25 percent growth.
“Jammu and Kashmir was earlier trapped in fear. Now, we are trying to establish fear-free atmosphere. When calendars of education were released in other States; in J&K, calendars of bandhs and hartals were issued. This practice has now been finished,” he added.
Asserting that there has been significant improvement in law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Sinha said 182 militants, 44 of them foreigners, have been killed, 89 terror modules busted and 67 Over Ground Workers (OGWs) arrested this year so far.From time-to-time earlier, peace was bought in Jammu and Kashmir. Now, we are not buying peace but making efforts to establish peace,” he reiterated. He again took a dig at separatists, albeit without naming them, saying while common man’s kin were pushed to militancy, their wards studied abroad.
Sinha said some youth were also misled that there were no employment opportunities but added that there are many areas in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh which have more unemployment. At the same time, he asserted, this remained the Government’s priority area and the Mission Youth is also working at it.
The Lieutenant Governor said the conclave has been organised at a time when India has become fifth largest economy of the world leaving behind the country which ruled India.
“Jammu and Kashmir has also been changing,” he asserted.
Taking a dig at family rule, Sinha said very few people here know the names of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel’s fathers.Sardar Patel united India. he brought together 500 States (at the time of independence). But here, only selected families were known. This was the system. Wherever there is family rule, talent and ability remain hidden. But, this system has been changed. I won’t claim that everything has changed but definitely the system which worked for few is now working for common man. This is the change,” he said.
He referred in detail various reports of different national surveying agencies including NITI Aayog which showed Jammu and Kashmir well ahead of national average and described this as changing Jammu and Kashmir. The UT also stood best in transparency and COVID management.
Jammu and Kashmir is first to launch District Good Governance Index. Tourism has gone all time high in last 6-7 months. During last year, 11,578 recruitments were made taking total to 30,000 in three years. There has been highest ever air traffic at Jammu and Srinagar airports. Among all 4290 Panchayats, barring 8-10 where land is not available, every Panchayat has playfield, the Lieutenant Governor said.
Maintaining that vast part of budget is spent on salaries in Jammu and Kashmir which has more Government employees as compared to Bihar, Sinha referred to issue of the daily wagers saying nearly one lakh of them were recruited on Rs 2000-3000 per month with assurance of regularization after seven years. No Selection Committee was constituted for making such appointments, he said.
The Government has to incur huge sum on salary, pension, gratuity etc of the employees every year, he added.
However, he asserted, the present Government increased their daily wages to Rs 300 per day and has also set up a Committee which will submit its report by the end of this month.
Stressing the need for increase in revenue generation, he said the Government needs people’s support for the purpose.
Pointing towards Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Arun Gupta, who was also sitting in the conclave, Sinha said economy of Jammu hasn’t been affected with Durbar Move but the Government has saved Rs 400 crore expenditure every year by ending the bi-annual practice.
“When train services were extended to Katra from Jammu, I was the Railways Minister and there were concerns that traders of Jammu will suffer. However, development of one area can’t be stopped at the cost of other. But, at the same time, we have been taking steps for further development of Jammu,” Sinha said.
He added that Rs 1000 crore worth works on National Highways and tunnels are going on in Jammu and Kashmir.
Distance from Jammu to Srinagar has been reduced from 10 hours to five and five and half hours and after completion of some works, I guarantee that it will further come down to four and half hours to four hours,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
The conclave was attended by Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president, who was joined by a number of former Ministers and ex-legislators from the party, Subash Choudhary, Chairman JK Media Network, Tarun Chugh, BJP national general secretary, Sanjeev Pargal, president, Press Club of Jammu, Ravinder Raina, BJP UT chief, Vikar Rasool, PCC (I) president, Sham Choudhary, former Minister, Altaf Bukhari, president Apni Party, Raman Bhalla, PCC (I) working president, Arun Gupta, president Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Drakshan Andrabi, Chairperson Wakf Board, Hina Bhat, Chairperson Khadi and Village Industry Board, Surinder Choudhary, former MLC and many other senior political leaders and officers from civil administration and Police.
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