Road to J&K’s prosperity has to pass through its villages: LG Manoj Sinha

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SRINAGAR: The road to Jammu and Kashmir’s prosperity has to pass through its villages, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday as he emphasised that high priority should be accorded to the rural development.

Highlighting the role of rural infrastructure, self-employment, and agrarian society, he said policies should be based on pragmatism in order to harness the tremendous potential of villages.

Around 70 per cent of J-K’s population is dependent on agriculture and allied activities. Today, the development in rural areas is not just about self-sufficiency in food production but also about increasing yields and income and making the people more empowered. It is also about making the villages self-sufficient because the road to J-K’s prosperity has to pass through its villages, the Lt Governor said.

Sinha directed the officers to adopt rural development policies which are based on pragmatism and strengthen the planning and implementation at the panchayat level.

Each and every policy must improve the lives of people living in villages. Today, more than 56,000 self-help groups are acting as facilitators of development. Our aim should be to enhance the capacity and scale of these groups with financial support, market linkage, special knowledge and skills that can be used to change the face of rural J-K, he said.

The Lt Governor highlighted the mega projects related to rural development, which have been completed in the previous financial year. These projects are in agriculture, animal sheep husbandry, horticulture, skill development, cooperatives, road, power development, and Jal Shakti sector.

Sinha asked the officers to continuously focus on strengthening economic relationship between farm and market to benefit the farmers and rural population. He said making benefits of innovation, technologies available to rural population and agrarian society should be the highest priority.

The Lt Governor said the steps taken by the government will integrate rural areas into modern economic units and increased business opportunities in agro and rural industry can transform the rural economy.

There is a scope for rural reforms at various levels. Products of rural areas must be commercialised for sustaining growth. Adequate attention should be paid to public-private partnership to increase the income of rural population and both farm and non-farm economy should be incentivised to create well-equipped and self-sufficient villages.

Concerned officers and institutions must ensure access to affordable credit and huge investment being made in rural areas must translate into enhanced productivity, the Lt Governor said. (PTI)