JAMMU, DECEMBER 17: Terming the performance of J&K on all developmental indicators over the last two years as significant, Dr. V.K Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog today urged the government functionaries to keep up the good work for further improving the lives of the people of J&K.
He made these remarks while reviewing the progress made by UT of J&K on various growth/development indicators over the last two years in a meeting with the Chief Secretary and the Administrative Secretaries of the J&K Government as well as the senior officers of the central ministries and NITI Aayog.
Addressing the meeting, Dr. Saraswat stated that cooperative federalism is the bedrock of the fiscal federalism and NITI Aayog is committed to working with states and central ministries to enhance and equalise growth and development in the country.
“Strong districts and blocks will strengthen the States, which in turn will support the nation to grow strong and prosperous. The focus of the developmental initiatives, therefore, has to be on the districts and blocks,” he observed.
Dr. Saraswat stated that NITI Aayog’s developmental policy push is in line with ‘Sabka Sath SabkaVikas SabkaVishwas and Sabka Prayas’ mantra of the Prime Minister to remove developmental deficits and income inequalities across all the States and UTs in the country.
“Hon’ble Prime Minister has identified agriculture and industry sectors as two important drivers of pushing GDP growth in the country and, therefore, focussed attention has to be trained on these sectors for improving productivity, wages, prospects and income in these sectors,” he pointed out.
Dr. Saraswat announced that it’s only when states grow their GSDPs that national GDP will grow, leading to more and more wealth creation, which will then be available for re-distribution amongst all the sections of the society.
In his speech, the Chief Secretary stated that J&K today is not only one of the most transparent, but also one of the best governed UTs amongst all States/UTs in the country.
Hailing the transformation in governance historical, Dr. Mehta said transparency and good governance, which has come about in the last two years, has provided the long deprived people of the UT the right to define their destiny, including efforts to fight corruption.
He said that J&K has followed a whole of government approach in improving transparency, increasing enforcement, institutional deepening and, importantly, in building trust of the people.
Dr. Mehta gave details of the recent reforms like BEAMS, PAYSYS, full verification of works, road connectivity in all villages, availability of 128 public services online, saturation of all individual beneficiary oriented schemes etc. and stated that these land mark steps will both facilitate ease of living and ease of doing business in J&K.
He asked NITI Aayog to share the updated ranking on all developmental/ growth indicators, while further observing that the present rankings, which are dated by2-3 years do not reflect the transformation J&K has undergone in the last two years and rather tend to paint a wrong picture.
While reviewing the issues of various departments of the J&K Government pending with the Central Ministries Dr. Saraswat asked the officials of the UT Government and Education Ministry to hold a meeting to resolve the issues relating to setting up of KendriyaVidyalayas/Regional Institute of Education.
He advised Education Ministry to devise a framework of measuring learning outcomes in schools in J&K to help the government make the required reforms in the education sector.
Terming Jammu-Poonch National Highway as an important arterial extension, Dr. Saraswat asked the officials of Ministry of Defence and PWD of the UT Government to hold consultations to promptly address all issues, including the issue relating to the transfer of army land located in the alignment of Jammu – Akhnoor section of the highway.
Member, NITI Aayog asked the Tourism Ministry to seriously consider sanction of4 youth hostels in J&K, besides a winter sports university in the valley, as sports is an important activity in J&K.
Highlighting the financing issues under Swadesh Darshan scheme, Dr Mehta asked the officials of the Tourism Ministry to fund the tourism projects approved under PMDP from other schemes of the minsitry.
Dr. Mehta said that J&K government is willing to invest in the construction of an airport in Kishtwar district, if the airlines evince interest in using the airport, thereby, making the investment a viable proposition.
While stating that there is a significant tribal population in J&K , Dr. Saraswat said that NITI Aayog will request the concerned Ministry to find a way to fund the various tribal projects in J&K, as funding under Finance Commissions now not available to UT.