Govt aims to bridge rural-urban gap; make credit accessible to those wanting to start business: LG
Srinagar: “J&K Government is working on robust and efficient digital network infrastructure in the hinterland to provide transparent financial services to the people. Our aim is to bridge the gap between Rural & Urban pockets of J&K, and ensure that easy credit is accessible to all those interested in starting their own business ventures.”
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha made these remarks during his address at a day-long conference on “Education to Entrepreneurship” here at SKICC.
The conference was organized by Mission Youth, J&K in collaboration with the Taleem-O-Tarbiyat initiative to promote economic development and encourage sustainable livelihood of the youth in Jammu & Kashmir, with emphasis on education, character building, entrepreneurship, and skill development here on Saturday.
Speaking on the occasion, the LG congratulated Zafar Sareshwala, former Chancellor, Maulana Azad Urdu University & Head, Taleem-O-Tarbiyat for taking the initiative to provide insight and the way forward on how to plan future strategies in providing skill development, education and employment opportunities to the youth of J&K.
According to an official press release, the LG observed that the improvement in regulatory environment and business ecosystem is playing a major role in promoting economic growth and financial inclusion in Jammu & Kashmir.
“We are exploring all possibilities so that financial inclusion and easy credit is accessible to all people, besides developing skills of the youth in banking and financial services sector to capitalize on vast opportunities,” added the LG.
A target has been set to develop and train 5000 young professionals this year, and equip them with the requisite skill sets of financial services sector, the LG maintained.
Terming skill development as a guiding force for empowering youth and providing them opportunities to become self-dependent, the LG observed that J&K government has been continuously working on policy and interventions to bridge the skill gaps and create a conducive environment with collaborative efforts to generate employment opportunities in various sectors.
Mentioning a recent report of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the LG said J&K has less unemployment rate than States & UTs like Delhi, Goa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. He said that the unemployment rate in the UT has gone down to 9 percent from 16.1 percent in September 2020 and gave its credit to the people, especially the youth of J&K.
J&K has vast natural resources and immense potential. The UT government is making every possible effort to ensure optimum utilization of resources and funds to create a business-friendly environment, he added.
Paving way for a strong Women Entrepreneur Ecosystem in J&K, the UT government has already announced a new scheme – Tejaswini under Mission Youth, through which financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs to the girls between the age group of 18-35 years is provided to start their business, the LG informed.
“During the Back to Village programme, we had set a target of around 9000 youth to be identified for financial support for starting their enterprise. The expected target has been exceeded and 18,500 youth have been extended the financial support and now they are providing jobs to others as well,” the LG said.
He also said that the government in consultation with all the stakeholders has developed the “best” industrial scheme as compared to other regions of the country. “The unprecedented Rs 28,400 crore New Industrial development scheme would further attract a huge investment of Rs 20,000-25,000 crore, besides providing employment avenues and opportunities to around 5 lakh youth,” he added.
The LG also noted that two IT Towers, one each in Jammu and Srinagar would be ready in their estimated timeframes. He said that the government is also working to tap the massive job opportunities in insurance and financial sector.
J&K has a vast pool of talent with majority of its population below 35 years of age. Efforts are afoot to create Jobs for the big segment of the population in different sectors. The government under Mission Youth is aiming to engage 80 percent youth in livelihood generation by 2025, said the LG.
“Today’s programme is a significant step towards filling the gap between market demand and supply. We are adopting the best global practices of youth empowerment and encouraging sustainable livelihood, besides spreading financial literacy,” he said.
Sinha also observed that the UT government has put dedicated focus on ensuring 100 percent saturation of social security schemes during ‘Jan Abhiyan’ so that the benefits of the welfare schemes reach to every beneficiary.
He also praised the women entrepreneurs who have received capital assistance from the bank and have provided jobs to about 100 employees.
Citing India Investment report 2020, the LG said that the mutual funds investment is not limited only to big cities. Technology and financial literacy have brought it to tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The report also says that J&K and Bihar are leading in equity allocation.
In terms of employment generation in banking, financial services, and insurance sector had around 40 lakh workforce in 2018-2019 which is going to increase to 85 lakh in 2022, according to an estimate. The financial sector has huge potential and youth of J&K must take benefit of this opportunity, he added.
The LG called upon all the young stakeholders to embark on the journey of development of Jammu and Kashmir. Administration is putting dedicated and honest efforts to transform J&K into a model of development.
Junaid Mattu, Mayor, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, also spoke on the occasion and hailed youth-oriented programmes of the government. He hoped that such financial literacy programmes would make the youth job-providers rather than job-seekers.
Zafar Sareshwala, Head, Taleem-O-Tarbiyat in his address, elaborated on the objectives of the conference. He said the initiative is aimed at encouraging different communities, to equip themselves with knowledge and skills through education and financial literacy.
Earlier, Chairman Quality Council of India, Adil Zainulbhai expressed his views on the theme of the conference and shared his ideas with the participants through virtual mode.
Among others, the conference was attended by Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir; Rupinder Brar, Additional DG, Union Ministry of Tourism; Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Chief Executive Officer, Mission Youth, besides prominent citizens and students from different parts of the region.