On Tuesday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman handed over credit sanction letters of Rs 306 crore to beneficiaries in Jammu and Kashmir and announced a host of initiatives, including a Rs 200 crore cluster development fund for the Union territory.
On the final day of her two-day visit, she also virtually laid the foundation of rural self-employment training institute buildings at Shopian and Baramulla districts of the Kashmir Valley.
The Union Minister along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha attended the credit outreach programme and other events organized by the banker's committee of Jammu and Kashmir at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium Complex at the University of Jammu here.
On the occasion, Sitharaman handed over sanction letters of Rs 306 crore to 145 beneficiaries of different banks and credit-linked schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Programme, MUDRA Scheme, Self-Help Groups, Joint-Liability Groups, among others.
The Union Finance Minister also announced new schemes and initiatives for the Union Territory, including the launch of Tejaswini and Hausla schemes; Shikhar and Shikara schemes of Punjab National Bank and SIDBI's Rs 200 crore Cluster Development Fund,
Under PNB's special scheme, 'Shikara' credit of up to Rs 15 lakh will be provided for the purchase and repair of Shikaras and houseboats. 'Shikhara' scheme focuses on meeting credit requirements up to Rs 2 crore for the hotel, tour and tourism industry.
JKTPO's Hausla Scheme will empower existing women entrepreneurs to be role models in their sectors by providing skill development, as well as credit support, marketing support and mentorship. Under Tejaswini Scheme, financial assistance up to Rs 5 lakh is to be given to young women for setting up gainful self-employment ventures.
On the occasion, Sitharaman said that she will ensure that more bank activities take place in Jammu and Kashmir and more Public Sector Banks set up branches in all districts so that every person has access to banking facilities.
"Projects that have been in the pipeline for long are getting rapidly implemented, sections of society that have never had any assistance from the government are getting it and genuine businesses are being provided credit," she added.
Sinha highlighted the vital role of credit outreach programmes and smart lending in enabling the government policies to reach all sections of society. He said the mega credit outreach campaign in all districts will give impetus to the economic activities and ensure that credit is easily accessible to the needy.
The L-G underlined the need to forge a strong partnership between banks and business entities for greater investment, growth, innovation, and employment. "I want the banks in Jammu and Kashmir to build floors of opportunities, not the walls," he added.
-With PTI Inputs