The Minister for Finance, Labour, Employment and Culture, Dr Haseeb Drabu today said the concept of Model Villages needs to be repackaged as ‘Model Business Villages’ to add an economic dimension to it.
“In J&K every area has its own local economic potential which needs to be harnessed fully to not only create wealth but job opportunities as well,” Dr Drabu said while addressing an impressive public gathering after inaugurating new sub-treasuries at Kaprin and Zainapora in Wachi Constituency.
MLA Wachi, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, Director General Accounts and Treasuries Altaf Hassan Mirza, DDC Shopian, G M Dar, Executive President J&K Bank Parvaiz Ahmad Nengroo, Director Accounts & Treasuries Kashmir Laila Chanda and other officers and officials of the district administration as well as J&K Bank were present on the occasion.
Dr Drabu said each selected village with specific economic potential can be developed as a distinct business model with adequate financial support from the banks and market intervention to turnaround and fortify the economy at the grassroots level. He said business activities that can be promoted in such rural business hubs include processing of agriculture and horticulture produce, medicinal plants, perfumery, handicrafts, apiculture, sericulture and other such ventures which use the local raw material and has a huge consumable market available.
The Minister said that the present Government’s focus is to expand J&K’s economy through various innovative developmental interventions and the Rs 80000 crore package announced by the Prime Minister would go a long way in addressing the connectivity and other challenges confronting the State. “The people have started acknowledging the developmental initiatives taken by the present Government during the past nine months as there was complete developmental hiatus in the State during the past 6 years,” he said and added that many new road projects including a highway is coming up in the twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian and the foundation stone has already been laid for a new Fruit Mandi at Aglar to boost the marketing of the local agriculture and horticulture produce. He said several new Grid and Receiving Stations are also coming up in the area to augment and strengthen the power distribution system
Dr Drabu said the Government has also identified the land near Awantipora for setting up of AIIMS there which would transform the local economy besides providing best healthcare facilities to the people of the area at their doorstep.
The Minister also announced setting up of Amin Kamil Cultural Centre and a Soil Testing laboratory in the area.
Speaking on the occasion, MLA Wachi, Aijaz Ahmad Mir thanked the Minister, on the behalf of people of Shopian, for fulfilling the long pending demand of the area by inaugurating to sub-treasuries there. He also called for covering district Shopian under ‘Laadli Beti’ scheme.