Investment in the private sector is the key to growth and employment of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu said

Last year was a year of “momentous change” for Jammu and Kashmir as the abrogation of Article 370 removed the “artificial barriers” between the region and rest of India, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu said on Saturday.

In his Republic Day address, Murmu extended his greetings and good wishes to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The abrogation of temporary provisions have removed the artificial legal and economic barriers between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country and have fully integrated Jammu and Kashmir in the true sense of the term,” the L-G said in his address.

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir now stand on the same pedestal as those in the rest of the country, with the same rights, benefits and prospects. Women and weaker sections like Scheduled Castes and Tribes, West Pakistan Refugees and Safai Karmacharis, now have equal democratic and economic rights. Barriers to industrial growth and trade have been removed,” he said.

The L-G claimed Jammu and Kashmir was now at the doorstep of a brighter future.

“As Jammu and Kashmir progresses in step with the rest of the country, there will be a boost to private investment and a great opportunity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Murmu said.

“The economy will grow with more economic opportunities, businesses will thrive and the people of Jammu and Kashmir will gain on all fronts. I assure entrepreneurs that the government will take all measures to ensure that the local industry becomes competitive,” he said.

However, he said militancy remained the biggest concern as innocent youth were indoctrinated to take the misguided path.

“Although incidents of militancy have come down drastically, the threat posed by it requires attention not only to eradicate it but also prevent loss due to it,” he said.

“Our valiant security personnel need to continue to be on guard to thwart any attempts to disturb peace across Jammu and Kashmir, thereby disrupting the development, growth and opportunities for peace-loving people.”

Murmu said that strengthening grassroots democracy is part of the goal of good governance.

“We have held elections to panchayats, block development councils (BDCs) and municipal bodies and transferred funds, functions and functionaries. Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) have an opportunity now to develop model villages to realise Gandhiji’s dream of modern villages in a developed India,” he said.

Investment in the private sector is the key to growth and employment of J-K, he said adding that preparations for the first-ever Global Investor Summit in the Union territory are in full swing.

“A new Industrial Policy 2020 for large and mega units and for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) has been prepared with 14 sectoral policies in the pipeline and with a list of ready to invest projects. The future of Jammu and Kashmir lies in attracting high-quality investment which can create jobs for our youth,” he added.

He also said the government is working on the Mission for Youth in Jammu and Kashmir to “channelise the energy of the youth in positive activities”.

“The areas of intervention would include livelihood generation and skill development, education, skill development, financial assistance, sports including setting up sports leagues, recreation, counselling and therapy, and handholding support,” he said.

“The initiative will set up one-stop shops for our youth and enable them to lead productive lives. The ultimate objective is to channelise the energy of the youth in positive activities.”

Photo courtesy: ANI