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Government Initiatives May 23-29, 2021

Vaccinating All

LG Manoj Sinha Gets First COVID-19 Vaccine Shot

Jammu and Kashmir government, according to PK Pole has placed an order of 1.2 crore Covid-19 vaccination doses but the difficulty has arisen because other States have also placed bulk orders. The government said vaccination of 45 plus age group is going on in full swing and the rate in Jammu and Kashmir is 61 per cent against the 33 per cent national average which is almost double the size of national-level percentage. The government said that all efforts are being made to get the remaining population in the 45 above age group vaccinated in the coming days. The government said vaccination for 18- 45 age group, J&K needs vaccine doses for 37 lac population for which registration process has been started and shall commence soon. The government said the vaccination is also going on at a good pace as J&K has even touched the 50000 daily doses vaccination during the ongoing drive.

Empowering Tribals

The Jammu and Kashmir government is setting up Model Residential Schools costing Rs 30 crore in the current budget for the tribal community. Six Model Schools are being made operational with temporary accommodation meanwhile executing agencies have been directed to complete the construction work in the next two years. The selection process for staff has been initiated through National Testing Agency, Nodal Principals appointed through the education department and notification for the selection of students is under consideration. Deputy Commissioners as chairpersons of the district-level committee have been entrusted for equipping the temporary accommodation. Also, the modernisation of hostels managed by the department is another key focus area for which a budget of Rs 10 crore have been earmarked to upgrade furniture, classrooms and accommodation facilities. Department also approved Rs 50 Lakh for providing multipurpose vehicles to 10 hostels in Phase-I for catering and management needs. Women cooperatives and self-help groups among the scheduled tribes shall be provided financial support on priority and specialised skill development courses will be offered to women entrepreneurs in rural areas based on their area of interest. Meanwhile, the proposal has also been sought for providing replacement of livestock lost in accidents and mishaps not covered under SDRF.

Good Governance

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha chairs the Administrative Council meeting

The Jammu and Kashmir government released Annual Report- Promoting Good Governance compiled by the Finance Department showcasing major initiatives undertaken during 2020-21 to bring transparency and accountability in the execution of the public works. The document captures the essence of reforms such as online processing of bills through PaySys, streamlining of GST, e-stamping, e-GRAS, e-auction of Liquor licences for retail outlets, digital payments, implementation of GeM, path-breaking reforms in J&K Bank, publication of important manuals relating to Budget and Audit, Back to Village and My Town My Pride initiatives and 100% physical verification which is a most vital initiative to ensure implementation of projects without cost and time over-runs.

The government revealed that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) revenue collections in the Financial Year 2020-21 has shown positive growth despite constraints witnessed during the initial months of the fiscal year due to Covid-led restrictions. GST collections in the Union Territory had plummeted by more than 70 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) during the lockdown months of April, May, and June last year. Gross GST revenue collections including settlement for the Financial Year 2020-21 in J&K stood at Rs 4890.35 crore against a total gross GST collection of Rs 4750.60 crore in the Financial Year 2019-20, thus registering a positive growth of 2.94 per cent. The government also stated that the Excise Revenue collection in 2020-21 grew at 5.36%. Total excise revenue generated during 2020-21 stood at Rs 1353.43 crore.

Oxygen In Villages

The people live near to each other on the two sides of the LoC that this village is completely visible to the naked eye. Image Mahmood Ahmad

In order to effectively tackle Covid-19 pandemic in rural areas the Jammu and Kashmir government last week started setting up five beds for Covid-19 patients in each pandchayat. The direction was passed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to all the Deputy Commissioners and Health department to ensure a minimum 5-bedded Covid Care Centre including one Oxygen supported bed in every Panchayat of Jammu & Kashmir for the patient requiring immediate medical attention. Expenditure of up to Rs. 1 lakh per Panchayat has been approved by the government from District Capex Budget to make these Centres immediately functional. The decision has been taken to create basic minimum infrastructure to provide isolation facilities at Panchayat level as many households may not have an option for isolation of Covid positive patients in their own residence. Panchayat ghars, community halls, or Schools could be utilized for the creation of facilities in consultation with the nearest Health Centre and Panchayat representatives. The Panchayats shall use upto Rs 1 Lakh available with them for the creation of isolation facilities including beds, purchase of oxygen concentrator, and creation of toilet and other basic facilities. These Centres shall be equipped with necessary medical kits, and linked to nearest health centres and telemedicine facilities. Ambulance services in rural areas must have oxygen support for safely transporting the patients to Covid dedicated hospitals, said the Lt Governor.

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