Jammu and Kashmir Restored to Peace, Development, Empowerment, Tourism Growth under PM Modi’s Leadership
By Ajaz Rashid
Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha hailed the selection of Jammu and Kashmir as the venue for the G20 meeting, declaring it a testament to the region’s new era of growth and peace under Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji’s leadership. Highlighting the impact of development schemes, he emphasized their role in empowering the masses and isolating the terror ecosystem. Sinha stressed the importance of peace for tourism growth, highlighted Jammu and Kashmir’s achievements, and expressed optimism about the increasing foreign investments. With a focus on sustainable tourism and the transformation of the region, he credited Modi Ji’s visionary leadership for the improvements. The Lt. Governor also recognized the pandemic’s impact on tourism and emphasized the values of a united world, showcasing Jammu and Kashmir’s commitment to revitalizing sustainable tourism and attracting investments. J&K’s Selection for G20 Meeting is a Testament to Growth and Peace: LG Manoj Sinha
“The selection of Jammu and Kashmir for the G20 meeting by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji is a testament to the new era the region is witnessing under his leadership. It has opened up limitless possibilities of growth and peace,” stated Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha while addressing the 3rd Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting yesterday.
Highlighting the impact of development schemes implemented by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Lt Governor emphasized their role in empowering the masses and effectively isolating the terror eco-system that previously thrived with external support. He expressed optimism about the green shoots of better times and the increasing foreign investments that are now coming into Jammu and Kashmir.
The Lt Governor also underscored that tourism in Jammu and Kashmir reflects the diverse religious and cultural ethos of India. He emphasized the importance of peace for the growth of tourism, stating, “Tourism cannot grow in isolation. While infrastructure, policies, and effective administration are essential, peace and the happiness of people are equally fundamental. Only when there is peace and happiness can we truly offer the warm hospitality that we Indians are known for.”
The Lt Governor further highlighted that Jammu and Kashmir has achieved significant milestones and stands among the developed regions of India in various measurable aspects. The administration remains committed to the economic and social prosperity of the people in the region.
“Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi Ji has completely eliminated injustice, exploitation, and discrimination that several sections of society faced for seven long decades due to external influences. We are ensuring social equality and equal economic opportunities for all citizens, enabling them to contribute to the nation-building,” stated Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha during the G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting.
“It’s encouraging for us to share that Jammu and Kashmir is already working on a few of the priority areas identified by the G20 Tourism Working Group like on Green Tourism, Skills, Tourism MSMEs and Digitalization”
Highlighting the transformation of Jammu and Kashmir, the Lt Governor emphasized the strengthening of grass-root democracy, the emergence of new industries, rapid agricultural growth leading to prosperity in villages, the establishment of new institutions for higher education, and the training of youths in Industry 4.0 technologies. He also highlighted the rapid progress in infrastructure development and the transformation of Jammu and Kashmir into a digital society, thanks to the emphasis on technology. He credited the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi Ji for the improvement in Jammu and Kashmir’s ranking on various sustainable development parameters.
“The world can witness that the entire society, especially the younger generation, is shaping a bright future for themselves and the nation. The speed and scale of development in Jammu and Kashmir are awe-inspiring. Our execution speed for infrastructure projects has increased almost tenfold,” expressed the Lt Governor.
Recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism worldwide, the Lt Governor emphasized the importance of traveller well-being and the values of a shared vision of a united world. He stated that the shift towards sustainable living and inclusive development presents an opportunity to revitalize sustainable tourism. He expressed delight that the G20 Tourism Working Group, under India’s presidency, is focusing on priority areas such as green tourism, digitalization, skills, tourism MSMEs, and destination management. The Lt Governor highlighted that Jammu and Kashmir is already working on several of these priority areas, including green tourism, skills development, support for tourism MSMEs, and digitalization.
He emphasized that in the post-pandemic era, five key building blocks will promote environmental awareness, protect the ecology, improve the economy, uplift the livelihoods of communities, and foster inclusive growth of stakeholders.
Drawing attention to the picturesque landscapes of Jammu and Kashmir, the Lt Governor stated, “The G20 TWG meeting taking place in the land of majestic peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and serene green landscapes signifies that Jammu and Kashmir is more than just a tourism destination.”
“It is more than just a land; it is poetry. Jammu and Kashmir is a realm of realization, an energy field resonating with ageless Indian cultural values,” expressed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. He attributed the successful transition in the tourism sector amidst the pandemic to the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi Ji, emphasizing the focus on traveler needs, industry interests, employment generation, and environmental awareness.
The Lt Governor highlighted the remarkable influx of tourists, with a record number of 18 million visitors to Jammu and Kashmir last year. He also emphasized that the tourism sector contributed 7% to the UT’s GDP. The administration has identified 300 new destinations to promote green tourism, support small and medium enterprises, empower youth and women entrepreneurs, and involve local communities in fostering sustainable tourism.
“Recognizing the tourism sector as an industry, we have provided all fiscal incentives as per our Industrial Policy. I can confidently say that we are receiving significant investment proposals from the hospitality sector,” stated the Lt Governor, emphasizing the positive response from industries.
In an effort to revive the relationship with Bollywood after a hiatus of almost four decades, the J&K UT administration has launched a film policy in 2021 to attract more investments in the film sector. The Lt Governor proudly shared that over 300 movies were filmed in the region last year, contributing to a qualitative change in the lives of the people.
“Our goal is to enhance sustainability and preserve the beauty of the countryside and popular destinations, along with the captivating heritage sites. I am confident that under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi Ji, Jammu and Kashmir will soon secure its place among the top 50 destinations in the world, becoming a must-visit location for global travellers,” stated the Lt Governor, expressing his optimism.