The Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the residents of Jammu and Kashmir were denied developmental and economic growth opportunities for 70 long years. She, however, said that after the abrogation of Article 370, adequate funds have been provided to the residents of Union Territory to fulfill the aspirations and wishes of the people of this region.

She said the funds provided by the Centre in the past two years were aimed to meet the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Nirmala Sitharaman

On her maiden visit to the Union Territory (UT) after the abrogation of Article 370, she observed, "People want to grow, their aspirations are there to be realized. It is this common aspiration for which every citizen should be given space and that is being given to the people of Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370."

The Finance Minister reiterated the Government of India's support to Jammu and Kashmir and read out the projects completed under PMDP and those in the pipeline for taking Jammu and Kashmir to new heights of development and prosperity.

Inaugurates Aayakar Bhawan at Srinagar

Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the newly constructed Aayakar Bhawan-cum-Residential Complex at Rajbagh, Srinagar. In her address, Sitharaman thanked the people of Jammu & Kashmir for their contribution to the efforts in enabling the commissioning of "The Chinars" Aaykar Bhawan and the attached facilities.

Dedicating the project to the people of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, she said that the Income Tax office at Srinagar will act as a bridge to connect the people of the region to the best taxpayer services and also help them in their taxation issues through the Aaykar Sewa Kendra.

Sitharaman observed that it will provide an enabling environment for the "Jan Bhagidari" in the development of the region.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha

The Finance Minister said that the new facility inaugurated today will facilitate the taxpayer services while ensuring a more accessible, people-friendly, and transparent tax system. Taxation is not only a collection of taxes but people's participation, the sense of 'Jan Bhagidari', she added.

Later, in her interaction with tax administrators and stakeholders at SKICC, Sitharaman urged the officers of both CBDT & CBIC to be agents of change and reach out to the industry and business individuals to ascertain their expectations from the Government.

J&K has been steadily progressing in a true sense: LG

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in his address said that during the last about two years, J&K has been steadily progressing in a true sense, offering opportunities to women, youth, entrepreneurs, and farmers alike.

Manoj Sinha
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"The historic industrial scheme worth Rs 28,400 crores has opened up investment opportunities for people from across the world. It will certainly lead to more development and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir. We have already received proposals worth Rs 29,000 cr and we expect to reach the figure of 35,000 cr by ending December," he added.

Reiterating his resolve of bringing transparency in the governance system, the Lt Governor said that more and more technological interventions are being made to ensure a responsible, accountable, and corruption-free system in J&K. We have developed tools like 'JKBEAMS', through which a person sitting in far-flung areas can monitor the spending of each penny on public projects. For the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, physical verification of projects has been made mandatory, the Lt Governor added.

He said that the inauguration of the new income tax and residential building 'The Chinars' is a sign of socio-economic change taking place in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.