Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha presided over the UT-level event in connection with Garib Kalyan Sammelan, held here at SKICC.

Pertinently, ‘Garib Kalyan Sammelan’ marks the completion of eight years of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the office. During this one of the largest ever nationwide interactions, Hon’ble Prime Minister interacted with the beneficiaries of wide-ranging government run schemes and programmes, and received first-hand feedback regarding the impact of these schemes on the lives of beneficiaries.

Hon’ble Prime Minister also released the 11th installment of financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme. An amount of around Rs 21,000 crore to more than 10 crore beneficiary farmer families was disbursed.

To mark the occasion at the UT level, the Lt Governor inaugurated 100 Amrit Sarovar sites and Grih Pravesh Programme for 27,000 Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Grameen) beneficiaries.

The Lt Governor expressed gratitude to Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on behalf of the people of J&K, for connecting the UT of J&K to the mainstream of development and ensuring progress, social equality and social justice for all.

It is a matter of great pride that in eight years of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi’s good governance, the people-centric policies have empowered the most disadvantaged sections of our society, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor termed ‘Garib Kalyan Sammelan’ as a significant initiative to highlight the stories of positive change in the lives of common citizens.

The last eight years have witnessed a record growth, and it was ensured that the fruits of growth are equitably distributed for social inclusion, education, health, rural development, agriculture and improving rural and urban infrastructure, added the Lt Governor.

Under the guidance of Hon’ble PM, accelerated development and transformation is taking place across the UT of J&K. Increased allocations for Rural infrastructure and Rural health have reduced the inequalities and gap between urban and rural areas, the Lt Governor observed.

Jammu & Kashmir and its people were deprived of the development for seven decades. Now, the Constitutional provisions to provide equal rights to common people are being implemented on the ground, he added.

We have kept the aspirations of people at the heart of government policies and schemes, and we are committed to ensure financial inclusion and that the last man in the queue receives equal opportunity. Under Hon’ble PM’s guidance, our aim is to make development a powerful people’s movement in J&K, the Lt Governor said.

Highlighting the progress achieved in various welfare schemes, the Lt Governor said that the government machinery at all levels is working with greater dedication and commitment. The speed of execution of projects and saturation of schemes has increased five times as compared to what the government used to achieve earlier, he added.

J&K has performed better in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Rural and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban. Farmer-centric reforms introduced by the government in the last three years have increased the income of the farmers of J&K manifold. The UT of J&K is now among the top five States/UTs in terms of farmers’ income with a monthly income of Rs 18,918 per farmer. We have also achieved notable success in our endeavour to end malnutrition in Jammu and Kashmir.

Similarly, 2.7 lakh beneficiaries were covered under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana till last financial year and more than Rs 107 crores have been distributed among them.

In the current financial year till April 2022, 5458 beneficiaries were linked to the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana and an amount of Rs 2 crore 76 lakh has been directly transferred to their account, said the Lt Governor.

Rural sanitation coverage in Jammu and Kashmir is another sector where, as a result of the efforts of the central government, we have registered remarkable progress with 100% saturation. Jammu and Kashmir has performed well in the Swachh Bharat Urban Abhiyan. Today, 100% of waste is being collected from every household and by November this year, we will also be successful in processing 60 to 70 % of the waste. Further, an amount of Rs 648 crore has been sanctioned for waste management in all 78 urban local bodies, added the Lt Governor.

Speaking on the achievements registered under Jal Jeevan Mission, the Lt Governor said the UT Government is working on a mission mode to achieve the ambitious goal of 100% piped water (Har Ghar Nal se Jal). We have achieved 57.82% household coverage achieved so far, which is much higher than the national average of 49.23%. Today we have succeeded in providing tap water connection to 10.61 lakh households. Apart from two districts- Ganderbal and Srinagar, all rural schools, Anganwadi centers and hospitals have also been connected with tap water connections, he added.

J&K has secured 8th position in Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme implementation. Similarly, the UT has secured second rank in the list of Union Territories and Small States under the Prime Minister’s SVANidhi Program. Under the scheme, the government is providing assistance to 24,000 street vendors and to-date, loan has been disbursed to 14,078 beneficiaries.

J&K has also improved the ranking under MUDRA Yojana which has enabled enable small traders to start new businesses or to expand the existing ones. Altogether more than 2.62 lakh accounts have been opened, and Rs 5696 crore has been disbursed to small and micro-entrepreneurs under the scheme. Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, more than 5.47 lakh metric tonnes of food grains have been distributed till last month, the Lt Governor further added.

Sectors like Health, Infrastructure, Road Connectivity and Industries have witnessed a massive transformation in the last three years, the Lt Governor observed.

Now, J&K has become one of the leading States/UTs in the healthcare sector and medical education. Two AIIMS, two cancer institutes, seven new medical colleges, 15 new nursing colleges, and thousands of health and wellness centers, besides universal health insurance coverage for up to Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat-SEHAT without any discrimination have ensured Affordable and accessible healthcare to all segments of society of J&K.

At present 69.60 lakh beneficiaries are registered under Ayushman Bharat-SEHAT and about 76% of the families have at least one beneficiary registered, added the Lt Governor.

Earlier, only six km of road was constructed daily in Jammu and Kashmir, but today we are building 20 km of road every day. J&K has improved its ranking to fourth position in the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the Lt Governor said.

He further observed that industrial development in J&K could not take a leap as only Rs 15,000 crores worth investment was received since Independence till last year. Under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister, within one year, industrial investment of Rs 38,000 crore was approved in the UT and it will increase to Rs 75,000 crore in the coming days.

North India’s first Industrial Biotech Park at Kathua has been inaugurated recently and within a year a similar park will be ready in Handwara which will provide support to start ups and other industries in Jammu and Kashmir, informed the Lt Governor.

Sh Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lt Governor; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Sh Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary), Agriculture Production Department, besides Administration Secretaries, senior officers of UT administration and hundreds of beneficiaries were present on the occasion.

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