SRINAGAR: The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress achieved under various employment generation schemes in Jammu and Kashmir.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Revenue, Rural Development, Housing & Urban Development, Skill Development, Social Welfare, besides, CEO Mission Youth, MD JKRLM, Chairman & MD J&K Bank, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other senior functionaries of RBI, NABARD, and Banks were also present on the occasion.
The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, while reviewing the status of various employment generation schemes in Jammu and Kashmir, reiterated the Government’s commitment of providing gainful employment opportunities to 1 lakh youth during this financial year.
While reviewing the credit disbursement by banks under various Government-sponsored livelihood schemes namely-National Rural Livelihood Mission, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, National Urban Livelihood Mission, and special loan for SC/ST/OBC, the Chief Secretary directed the departments to sponsor all cases in line with the set targets by December, 2021.
He also asked for ensuring required training and hand-holding for the entrepreneurs in the last quarter of the financial year.
While expressing dissatisfaction at the poor level of sanctions issued by the banks, Mehta stated that RBI/UTLBC will devise a mechanism where under if a case sponsored to the bank is not decided within the set timeline, it shall be deemed to have been rejected and the concerned bank will have to give reasons for rejection.
He advised J&K Bank to operationalize a Helpline within a week for the borrowers whose cases are either delayed or rejected without adequate reasons by the banks so that they could be later examined by UTLBC/RBI for resolution.
He also advised RBI to issue an advisory to the banks operating in J&K to expedite the sanction of sponsored cases so that a large number of people could avail the benefit of the self-employment schemes.
Mehta exhorted the departments to sponsor more cases under the self-employment schemes as there is huge untapped potential in these schemes.
While observing that the performance with regard to self-employment/Government-sponsored schemes is unsatisfactory, the Chief Secretary directed Principal Secretary, RDD to direct the DCs to gear up the District officers while also increasing coordination with LDMs in the Districts for increasing the sponsorship of the cases to the banks.
The Chief Secretary advised the J&K Bank and SBI to set up dedicated youth desks in the banks so that the intended benefits of the youth-centric self-employment/government-sponsored schemes are optimally realized.
Mehta observed that credit disbursement to SC/ST/OBC was abysmally low and asked the SWD department to urgently take the steps necessary to increase the extent of credit disbursement to SC/ST/OBC sections of the population.
He also laid emphasis on increasing the awareness about the various self-employment/Government-sponsored schemes amongst the people in J&K by putting up 2-3 billboards/hoardings displaying various employment generating schemes at the prominent places in the District headquarters, besides running advertisements in print, electronic and social media.
Mission Youth and JK Rural Livelihood Mission were asked to spearhead the awareness effort through the mobilization of youth clubs and bank sakhis.
While emphasizing the importance of horticulture-based industries in generating employment in Kashmir valley, the Chief Secretary asked banks to prioritize sanctioning of cases under PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme based on ‘One District One Product’ model.
The Chief Secretary also reviewed the financial inclusion initiatives as well as steps taken to improve financial literacy among rural masses in respect of various schemes for financial assistance including PM Jan Dhan Yojna, Rupay Debit Cards, PM Suraksha Beema Yojna, PM Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana, and Atal Pension Yojana, in addition to numerous self-employment generation schemes.
Regarding the opening of new bank touchpoints in rural and far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir, it was informed that J&K bank has expedited the process of installing VSAT at several locations in these areas for internet connectivity so as to provide banking facilities there.