Crescent Kashmir

PM to visit J&K on April 24 to address Panchayat members

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Will launch industrial investments, other projects

First visit other than borders post 370 abrogation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Jammu and Kashmir on April 24 on ‘Panchayati Raj Day’ during which he will interact with members of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), launch industrial investments and inaugurate or lay foundation stones of various development projects.

Official sources told the Excelsior that visit of the Prime Minister to J&K on April 24 on the occasion of Panchayati Raj Day has been finalized and the occasion will also be used by the Union Territory Government for inauguration and laying foundation stone of several development projects including launch of industrial investments.

Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated every year on April 24 across the country. During past few years, Modi has been travelling to different States for interacting with Panchayat members on the occasion.

“This year, Jammu and Kashmir has been chosen for the Prime Minister’s visit,” sources said, adding that venue of the function will be finalized by the Central Government in consultations with the UT Government. Most likely, the function will be held in Jammu.

The Prime Minister will address members of the Panchayati Raj Institutions including the District Development Councils (DDCs), Block Development Councils (BDCs) and Panchayats (Sarpanchs and Panchs).

This was for the first time that three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions have been established in Jammu and Kashmir. In the annual budget of the UT for the financial year of 2022-23 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on March 14, a hefty funding provision has been kept for both urban and rural local bodies.

This will be the Prime Minister’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir other than borders post abrogation of special status of J&K and bifurcation of erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. However, he had celebrated Diwali with Army soldiers on October 27, 2019 at Rajouri and November 3, 2021 at Nowshera sector in Jammu division. His last visit to Jammu and Kashmir as a State was on February 3, 2019 when he had visited all three regions including Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh and launched projects worth thousands of crores.

Besides addressing the Panchayati Raj Day function, the Prime Minister is also expected to launch industrial investments in Jammu and Kashmir and inaugurate and lay foundation for some developmental projects during his visit to the Union Territory.

The investment proposals in Jammu and Kashmir might also cross Rs 70,000 crore by the time the Prime Minister formally launches the scheme.

“The Union Territory has already received investment to the tune of around Rs 70,000 crore including foreign investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where a delegation of Jammu and Kashmir headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had visited in the month of January. During the visit, investment proposals worth thousands of crores were signed by Jammu and Kashmir with top business leaders of the UAE,” sources said, adding that more proposals are still being received.

Sources said the Prime Minister is likely to inaugurate and lay foundation stone of some projects in Jammu and Kashmir as few projects are nearing completion while various others are ready for launch after funding from either Central Government or the UT Government.

“The projects are being identified by the administration,” they said, adding the talks in this regard are also on between Centre and UT administration.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had last month announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Jammu and Kashmir’s industrial investments shortly.

The Government of India had launched Industrial Development Scheme in Jammu and Kashmir on January 6, 2021 which was to the tune of Rs 28,400 crore and was expected to generate 4.5 lakh to 5 lakh jobs for the youth in the private sector.

Daily Excelsior

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