Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Wednesday said that a transparent system had boosted Jammu and Kashmir’s economy, making its growth sustainable, and added that this year Rs 1000 crore budget had been allocated to Panchayats, Rs 200 crore to DDCs, Rs 71.25 crore to BDCs, and Rs 600 crore for Samridh Seema Yojana.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that attending the Back to Village programme at Garkhal border village in Akhnoor, the LG while addressing the gathering said that this participative Jan-Abhiyan promotes people-centric development for social transformation and focuses on improving the productivity of rural J&K through the increased ease of living.
The LG said that people's participation in the development of border villages was significant for social advancement and unleashing the spirit of self-reliance.
“Back to Village provides an opportunity for effective planning and a roadmap for execution with PRIs to fulfill the dream of Gram Swaraj,” he said.
Terming border villages as a strategic asset, the LG said the development of border villages is an essential precondition to building an inclusive society where there would be no discrimination and everyone enjoys an equal share of opportunity.
Emphasising that a one-size-fits-all approach will not be feasible for transforming rural areas because each village has its unique identity and requirements, he stressed that both administration and people must discuss and deliberate upon the aspirations of people and work on the projects that are viable and sustainable.
Saying that solutions to the crucial issues will come from the people, the LG directed the officers to interact with Gram Panchayat on the first Monday of every month to understand the people's problems, realise their strengths, and bridge the chasm between policy and implementation for the transformation of the rural landscape.
Noting that the days of indiscretion and arbitrariness are over, he said, “We have established fairness and transparency in the system to remove the development imbalances and to weed out nepotism and corruption. Today, a transparent system is giving a boost to J&K's economy and making its growth sustainable.”
The LG said that it was their firm resolve to improve the implementation on the ground.
“A lot has been achieved in the last three years with the speedy implementation of the projects, and we continue to invest in schemes to make rural J&K self-reliant and to increase incomes by creating more self-employment opportunities at the local level,” he said.
The LG said that they endeavored to realise the vision of the Prime Minister to encourage the participation of all citizens to be part of the decision-making to steer the engine of development and change the socio-economic landscape of rural J&K.
“We have prioritised the development of rural and border areas. This year, 10 PRI, 5 MGNREGA, one BDC, one Samridh Seema Yojana, and 23 projects under 14th FC are in progress in Garkhal to improve the lives of people, fulfill their basic needs and to accelerate overall development,” he said.
Highlighting that employment, health, education, and improving the productivity of the people were among the focus areas of the government during Back to Village, the LG said a target had also been set to identify 15 young boys and girls from every panchayat for self-employment assistance and 20 youth for skill development.
Assuring all necessary support from the administration for comprehensive and holistic development of panchayats, he asked the public representatives and rural population for making their village drug-free, litigation free, and ensuring every woman is associated with a self-help group, and youth is aware of their real potential.
The LG said that it was the responsibility of PRI members to ensure saturation of various schemes and initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, KCC, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Soil Health Card, agriculture-related schemes, and Ayushman Sehat Golden Card.
“It must be ensured that every child is immunized; every citizen has a bank account, every child, every girl goes to school; every landowner has a land passbook; everyone should have a ration card with Aadhar seeding; Panchayat Ghar should function smoothly and youth are engaged in sports & other constructive activities,” he said. “In the last two years, through continuous mass campaigns, block Diwas, Gram Panchayats, other outreach campaigns and result-oriented policies, inclusive development of panchayats has been ensured. Efforts have been made to bring government services to people’s doorsteps.”
The LG said that the development of rural and far-flung areas was being given special attention.
“Now the development plans are being prepared in consultation with PRIs and around 20,000 projects have been taken up for execution, which was decided by the people’s representatives and the people together,” he said.
The LG said that budget allocation of Rs 1000 crore to Panchayats, Rs 200 crore to DDCs, Rs 71.25 crore to BDCs, and Rs 600 crore for Samridh Seema Yojana, this year, which is a reflection of the administration's commitment to empower and strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions, border villages, and addressing challenges by harmonising policies and programmes, ensuring that the benefits of development reach all sections, granting every citizen their due rights and entitlements.
“The principle of transparency and zero tolerance towards corruption has revolutionized the implementation of projects. The fear-free corruption-free system has been established through a paperless, faceless administrative mechanism. This system has ensured that every citizen can keep track of every rupee being spent in their locality,” he said. “The CAPEX budget of Jammu and Kashmir has also been increased to Rs 22,126 crore this year which is four times more as compared to earlier and this increase has been given for development works in collaboration with the three levels of Panchayati Raj system.”
The LG distributed land passbooks, sports kits, wheelchairs, and sanction letters to beneficiaries under various schemes and also inspected the stalls set up by the government departments.