SRINAGAR: Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, in presence of Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Manoj Sinha, today inaugurated works pertaining to Health, Education, Urban Infrastructure, and Disaster Management worth Rs 130.49 crore and laid the foundation stone for Union Territory Level Emergency Operation Centre and SCADA control building at Budgam, Kashmir (amounting to Rs 34.88 crore) under the Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP).

Union Finance Minister handing over scholarship

The sub-projects are part of the Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) which is assisted by a credit of $250 million from the World Bank. The project was started in Jammu and Kashmir in the aftermath of the devastating floods of September 2014 which severely affected low-lying areas of Anantnag, Srinagar, and adjoining districts causing immense damage to housing, livelihoods and roads and bridges. It has been under implementation by Government of J&K as part of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for J&K since its effective date of 19.04.2016. The project aims at both restoring essential services disrupted by the floods and improving the design standard and practices to increase resilience.

The high social impact of JTFRP was felt in the COVID-19 pandemic response by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, wherein an amount of $50 million was allocated and utilized for the COVID-19 response, by activating the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) under the project. Medical equipment worth Rs. 290 crore and 30 oxygen generating plants at a total cost of Rs. 75 crore were procured thereby giving a boost to the health infrastructure to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic.

In a significant step towards the self–reliance of the artisans of Jammu and Kashmir, many artisan clusters were developed under this project with the objective of reviving the traditional crafts and providing gainful employment opportunities to youth.

One major recent achievement of the project has been the enlistment of Srinagar city in the UNESCO world creative cities network. Srinagar became one of the 49 cities worldwide to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) under the Craft & Folk  Arts category which is a moment of pride for all Indians.

On the occasion, the Union Finance Minister launched two Youth-oriented employment generation schemes of Mission Youth viz. Rise Together (Community Entrepreneurship Development program) and Nav Parivartan (Youth Innovation Promotion Program). She also handed over cheques of Rs 1 lakh each to students of LG Super 75 scholarship.

In her address, the Union Finance Minister appreciated the UT Government for working for the growth and prosperity of every section of the society without any discrimination.

The dream of Prime Minister to develop each part of the country equally is fulfilled vigorously and J&K is participating in this journey in letter and spirit, she said.

The Finance Minister also applauded the J&K government for promoting the local talent and supporting youth aspirations like education, entrepreneurship under flagship initiatives like Mission Youth, besides extending financial support to meritorious students from weaker sections for higher education through LG Super 75 scholarship.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha expressed gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble Finance Minister for bringing revolutionary changes in J&K making it a model of development and empowering the people of the UT.

The programs launched today under Mission Youth will prove to be a strong platform for the talented youth of Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

J&K was deliberately kept away from development, progress, and prosperity by few vested interests. The Youth of J&K and their future have been neglected for decades, said the Lt Governor.

A streamlined Financial Prudence, Transparent system, Zero Tolerance to Corruption on the ground has brought a new transformation, new hope in J&K.

We are building a Jammu and Kashmir with the spirit of collectiveness by rising above personal interests, in which all the sections get full benefits of the development of UT, get equal opportunities for progress.   Now, the money meant for the development purposes is being utilized for the public works, observed the Lt Governor.

For the first time in J&K, a new self-confidence has awakened and economic reforms and infrastructural development have accelerated. Now, Jammu and Kashmir is making headlines for tourism, innovation, and information technology, observed the Lt Governor.

Development priorities have been set afresh and a fear-free, corruption-free and transparent system has been created to protect the interests of 1.25 crore citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, said the Lt Governor.

Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary, Youth Services and Sports; Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, CEO Mission Youth; Sarmad Hafeez, Administrative Secretary Tourism Department; Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, CEO, JK ERA; Athar Aamir Khan, Commissioner, SMC, and other senior officers were present on the occasion.


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