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LG calls for speeding up infra projects

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‘HAUSLA’ launched for catalysing women entrepreneurship

Srinagar: Reviewing the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) projects, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday pushed for quick resolution of issues, if any, to speed up the progress of mega infrastructure projects in the Union Territory.

During the review meeting, important directions passed by the LG to the Administrative Secretaries and functionaries of the executing agencies for bringing in reforms by adopting an action-oriented approach for the timely completion of the projects, an official press release informed.

While taking a project-wise assessment, the LG sought the present status of the projects from the concerned Administrative Secretaries, Chief Engineers and other senior officers of the executing agencies, who in turn briefed him about the progress achieved till date and the future course of action.

“We need to speed up the projects for the overall development of UT. There is no constraint of funds and resources and the government is committed to bridge the gap between rural and urban J&K. Complete projects on Mission Mode, especially those which are under execution for a long time while maintaining the quality of work,” the LG directed the officers.

“Adhere to the timelines committed during the review meeting. Accelerate the pace of work, reduce unnecessarily extended timelines and mobilize resources to ensure that the public does not face inconvenience due to delays,” he added.

He also passed specific directions to prepone the timelines of some of the major projects so that the same can be completed at the earliest.

“Projects under PMDP are imperative for the holistic development of J&K. The departments must coordinate with each other to remove the bottlenecks, if any, for their effective execution,” maintained the LG.

He also reviewed the implementation of the directions passed during previous meetings and the execution of work in view of the commitments made thereof.

Taking note of the issues presented by the officers in the execution of some projects, the LG asked for preparing a list of those issues which are needed to be flagged with the Government of India, besides submitting a separate set of issues to be taken up by the J&K government.

While taking stock of the road projects under the package, the LG laid special emphasis on putting dedicated focus on strengthening the road connectivity which is vital for the economic development of any region. Important road links like Ramban-Banihal road stretch needs special attention by the concerned agencies, he added.

He further called for prioritizing the work as per the infrastructural requirements, particularly in health and educational projects.

Stressing upon the optimum utilization of the developed infrastructure, the LG passed strict directions to the officers to ensure that the inaugurated infrastructural projects are being put to use to facilitate the people.

Meanwhile, with an aim of harnessing the energy, enthusiasm, and dreams of the women, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday launched the “HAUSLA- inspiring her growth”, a programme for speeding up women entrepreneurship in J&K, here at SKICC Srinagar.

Terming the event as the beginning of a “new era in women entrepreneurship”, the LG said that women of Jammu and Kashmir are capable of achieving great heights in every field.

“There is no field – political, social or economic — in which the women of Jammu and Kashmir haven’t earned accolades and prestige. The social status of women in the society of Jammu and Kashmir was much better than other parts of the country even several centuries ago,” Sinha added.

According to an official press release, the intent of the initiative is to empower women as vital drivers of the overall development process in the UT by identifying and empowering women entrepreneurs as role models, providing them with markets, networks, training and continuous support, and subsequently building an ecosystem to inspire other local women entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the significance of ‘Hausla’, Sinha said that program has been made in a very scientific way and the broad contours include targeting women entrepreneurs of J&K already established in the field of self-employment, creating a channel for educated women to explore their potential and subsequently channelize their business acumen, helping them overcome challenges related to finances, legal, societal biases by focusing on their innate potential.

In addition, there shall be dissemination of knowledge about promotion policies of governments for women entrepreneurs and providing access to enterprise education and training with focus on business development, besides linkages to women enterprise networks, associations, business premises and online marketplaces, he said.

LG said that the priority of the government is to reduce the gap between women and men entrepreneurs in a systematic manner and to encourage women, who are currently engaged in various professions, so that they too can become a part of ‘Hausla’ program.

“With the launch of ‘Hausla’, a strong foundation has been set for the economic and social independence for our daughters and sisters. I am sure that a new eco-system of women entrepreneurs will be created in J&K,” he added.

“The vision of industrialization and IT transformation we are working on will enable women of J&K to run and develop their enterprises so that they become an integral part of the overall development of J&K,” the LG maintained.

He also underscored that the government is continuously working on the “three pillars of action” viz. making women financially independent, ensuring their maximum participation in leadership roles, and paying special attention to their health and socio-economic security.

“I believe that through skill and blended training under ‘Hausla’ program, the participation of women can be increased in IT, telemedicine, e-learning business, fashion designing, painting, publishing, handicrafts, food processing, and e-commerce,” he added.

He noted that with the right training, financial assistance and self-confidence, “we can take revolutionary steps towards empowering women.”

It was also informed that under the leadership of JKTPO and in collaboration with the industry stakeholders and India SME Forum, a not-for-profit organization for small & medium enterprises, the first batch of ‘HAUSLA’ — five-month program with 100 women entrepreneurs on board will start from July this year, “giving wings to women entrepreneurs to fly higher, make their own identity in business and promote their products”.

Mentioning the significant role of women from the region like Bimla Koul, the first woman who took admission in SP college in Srinagar in 1931 and others including Kanta Wazir, Dr. Girija Dhar, and Dr. Mahmuda Shah who displayed great strength and played important role in keeping the people together, the LG said that on 5th August 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “gave back all their rights and respect to women and that golden era is coming back again.”

Recalling the convocation ceremony of Islamic University of Science and Technology, the LG said that of the 158 gold medalists, 105 were girls and in every department, be it engineering, science, food technology, computer applications, they performed exceptionally well.

Referring to the “Time Use Survey Report” of the Central government, the LG said that in our country, despite the household chores, women, our ‘Nari Shakti’, are also the strong base of the economy.

Emphasizing the need to bring women at par with men in ownership of business establishments, the LG said that there are some statistics which need to be changed.

According to 6th Economic Survey, out of all the industrial establishments in the country, only 13.41 percent of the ownership is with women. Even in handicrafts and handloom establishments, in which women play the most important role, the percentage of ownership of women was 21.89 percent, compared to 77.74 percent for men.

The LG said that the objective of ‘Hausla’ team in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir administration and our industry and India SME Forum under the leadership of JKTPO is to reduce the gap of women ownership in business establishments.

He highlighted the inspiring story of Asma, Srinagar-based IT entrepreneur, who caters to local as well as global clients and also informed about Zarka Tanzeel of Budgam, who is the first woman entrepreneur from Kashmir division to launch ‘Sheen’ brand detergent powder and “became a role model for other girls”.

For encouraging women for innovations in different fields from handicrafts to IT and making their products available in market, the LG directed the ‘Mission Youth’ and Hausla team and J&K Rural Livelihood Mission (RLM) to jointly start a program called “Champion for Innovation” as training module. Through this, obstacles being faced by our girls in innovation, in becoming entrepreneurs in technology, can also be studied and overcome.

The LG also congratulated Ranjan Thakur, Principal Secretary Industries; Ankita Kar, Managing Director, J&K Trade Promotion Organisation, and Bharatendu Verma of IIM Ahmedabad, who with his entire team have worked on the ‘Hausla’ scheme for women entrepreneurs and aspiring women of J&K.

The Lt Governor also interacted with the women entrepreneurs present on the occasion and wished them success for their future endeavours.

Baseer Khan, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, while addressing the gathering termed the event as another milestone in J&K and maintained that it will usher in a new dawn of empowerment and socio-economic upliftment of women from J&K.

He said that the ‘Hausla’ programme would not only skyrocket the local economy of the UT but will also generate employment avenues for the local population.

Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, said that J&K economy is changing rapidly and in next five years it will be doubled. He observed that the completion of projects like Jammu-Srinagar national highway and the railway line will give fillip to the economy of J&K.

He said that women are as much partners in economic activities as their counterparts and there are no limits for women entrepreneurships.

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