Rural development: J&K on the way to becoming a model of socio-economic growth

JAMMU, APRIL 03: Jammu and Kashmir is set to become a model of socio-economic development in the country. To achieve this objective, the government has granted a significant budget allocation to the rural development sector.

Of the total population of Jammu and Kashmir, more than 70% live in rural areas. The development of rural areas is essential to the overall development of J&K. The rural sector needs infrastructure to support and guarantee major investments and development aid.

For the rural sector, an allocation of about Rs.4,627.85 crore has been made under capital expenditure for the year 2022-23, which is Rs.327.40 crore more than the budget allocation of the previous year . In the recently announced budget for J&K, under MGNREGA, 426 lakh person days are expected to be generated in 2022-23.

In addition, it is proposed to issue 60,000 work cards based on demand, and development works of 1 lakh of different nature will be initiated and expected to be completed. Under Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA), 1,500 elected officials will be given an exposure tour outside the Union Territory of J&K.

Capacity building and refresher training will be provided to 1,12,000 participants (MICs/officers/officers of operational departments) in a phased manner. More so, internet connectivity will be provided to all gram panchayats across J&K’s union territory.

400 new panchayat ghars and 300 existing ghars will be constructed and renovated respectively. Under the new budget, 54,000 houses will be built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY – G) in 2022-23. Under Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G), 87,250 Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) and 2,500 Community Sanitary Complexes (CSC) are planned to be constructed in 2022-23.

Under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), it is proposed to form 21,194 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in 2022-23, 20,000 Revolving Funds and 18,000 Bank Linkages are expected to be covered. Under Himayat (Deen Dyal Upadhyaya-Gramin Kaushalya Yojana), it is proposed to undergo vocational training for 14,067 youths and 9,847 internships in 2022-2023. Construction of housing/offices for members of District Development Council/Block Development Council/Panchayati Raj Institutions (DDC/BDC/PRI) has been initiated.

A provision of Rs.176.32 crore has been kept for the same in the 2022-23 budget. ROAD CONNECTIVITY For the roads and bridges sector, an allocation of approximately Rs.5,217.87 crore has been made under capital expenditure for the year 2022-23. The road length improvement of 1750 kilometers is expected to be undertaken after receiving the sanction of PMGSY-III in 2022-23. 50 bridges will be completed under the core sector/union territory programs in 2022-2023.

The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has introduced a third party inspection mechanism in the Department of Public Works (Roads and Bridges). All work in progress will be placed under the responsibility of the third-party inspection mechanism from the financial year 2022-23.

Maintenance of the existing road infrastructure will receive special attention in 2022-23 in terms of Road Maintenance Policy 2021 approved by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. A total of 6,000 kilometers of road surfacing is expected to be completed in 2022-23 under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)/Cities & Towns/Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF)/National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD )/ Roads without potholes. Good infrastructure and wide connectivity are the key factors for the growth and development of UT.

The increased participation of populations in the rural development process, the decentralization of planning and better access to credit and inputs are the key to offering rural populations better prospects for economic development.

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