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Good governance now reality in J&K: LG Sinha

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Highlights J&K’s ‘transformational journey from mis-governance to good governance’

New Delhi: The sounds of gunfire and bombs have been replaced by the “noise of development” in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday.

The article, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated on August 05 in 2019 and the state bifurcated into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Speaking at the ET Now Global Business Summit 2024 here, Sinha, according to an official press release, asserted that “good governance has finally become a reality in Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Stone pelting and strikes at the behest of Pakistan is history and Jammu and Kashmir is marching ahead like any other part of India with nightlife and cinema halls making a comeback,” Sinha said. He added that his administration has acted tough on supporters of Pakistan to restore the rule of law.

“There was no relation between good governance and J&K for a very long time since independence. In my 40 months of personal experience, J&K is now being counted among states having good governance which I am considering as a big achievement,” Sinha said.

“The credit for the change in the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has achieved targets that were considered impossible,” he said, referring to the abrogation of Article 370.

“J&K has achieved what was considered unthinkable, fulfilling the long standing wishes and aspirations of the people. The discrimination has ended and so has terrorism. The change happened because of the sacrifice of (Jana Sangh founder) Syama Prasad Mookerjee, devotion of others and the strong political will of Modi who overcame a challenge as big as the Himalayas and made J&K a permanent part of India, which is historic,” the LG said.

He also referred to a couple of speeches of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament.

Vajpayee aptly highlighted the pain of the people by raising genuine points that it is a shame that even a prime minister has no power to buy a piece of land in Jammu and Kashmir or the Parliament has no mandate to seek accounts of the money pumped into Jammu and Kashmir, Sinha said.

He said that parliament was also informed about the thousands of people going across the border for “guerilla training”. “It was an irony that those helping Pakistan were being rewarded in J&K while pro-India people faced disrespect,” Sinha said.

The LG said the time has changed as his administration restored the rule of law and ensured fast-paced development with money from the central government spent in a transparent manner.

“Now, we do not hear the sounds of gunfire and bombs in the (Kashmir) Valley, which has been replaced by the noise of development, which has registered 10 times increase compared to the past,” he said.

Sinha said while stone pelting and strikes at the behest of Pakistan has become history, today’s reality is that the youth are holding the tricolour with pride.

Cinema halls were reopened in the Valley after 30 years and markets no longer wear a deserted look, the LG said.

He said that as many as 154 government employees were removed from service after they were found involved in terror activities. Action against such people will continue, he asserted.

Holding Article 370 responsible for terrorism and separatism in Jammu and Kashmir, the LG took a dig at previous governments and accused them of pushing Jammu and Kashmir into turmoil.

“They are talking big about democracy and development but they are the ones who have snatched the rights of the youth,” he said, without naming any group or party.

He said as many as 92,565 projects were completed during the last financial year compared to the highest of 9,229 projects in a financial year a few years back.

“Before formulation of a new industrial policy in 2021, an investment of just Rs 14,000 crore was made in the private sector in J&K. We have got Rs 90,000 crore investment proposals and we are making efforts to ensure that these proposals are implemented on the ground within a year,” he said.

Home Minister Amit Shah’s appeal to industrialists to invest in Jammu and Kashmir at a summit in Gujarat has also seen positive results as many businessmen have come forward with their proposals to invest in J&K which is basically an investment in integration of the UT with the rest of the country, Sinha said.

In the area of e-governance service delivery, the LG said J&K has achieved a significant milestone by providing over 1,028 services in online mode surpassing Madhya Pradesh at the top of the list in the country.

The ‘back to village’ programme of the government to reach out to people at their doorsteps is a grand success with over 92,000 youths provided necessary support, including finance for self-employment compared to 75,000 last year, he said.

In addition, seven lakh women were linked to self-help groups in J&K where Rs 20 lakh e-transactions are happening on a daily basis.

He also referred to Prime Minister Modi’s vision of making the country future-ready and said his administration has evolved its own version of good governance under the broad guiding principles and strategy called “future-ready governance”.

“Good Governance is the key to a nation’s progress. The mantra and the guiding principle of ‘citizen- first’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inspired and helped to evolve J&K’s new model of good governance, ” the LG said.

“I like to sum up in just three terms of two words each making a total of six words – future-driven, tech-assisted and human-centric – and we have developed powerful conceptual framework clearly specifying what each of these terms mean and how they are integrated creating a futuristic model for good governance,” he said.

He said the UT administration has already initiated pilot projects, to work both as proofs of concept and as also models for communicating the novel and innovative ideas embedded in the framework.

“We are concurrently setting up new adaptive and resilient systems, to develop organizational capacity to deliver precisely and effectively to each citizen,” the LG added.

The LG said the “human-centric element of future-ready governance” will have two components.

“The first will focus on all governmental employees, with a view to empower and energize them as the lead instrument of transformation. The second will focus on citizens as partners in developing our priorities and working modalities, in sync with their needs and aspirations,” he observed.

The LG also shared the reforms and the vision of the administration to improve policy performance and address future challenges.

“Future-ready governance is not a theoretical concept or a model. For us, this is the beginning of the journey to impact and improve the life of every person in Jammu & Kashmir,” he said.

“We intend to equip ourselves fully to develop future-driven strategies and will continue to blaze new pathways for this journey,” the LG said.

He said the administration is looking at scientific tools like artificial intelligence and big data based strategic foresight to be able to visualize evidence and data-based future scenarios.

“We are considering the setting up of ‘Centre for New Age Governance’ (CNAG), for providing necessary knowledge inputs and capacity building support,” the LG observed. (With additional inputs from PTI)

 

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