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Govt approves IFAD funding for sustained increase in income of rural households

Govt approves IFAD funding for sustained increase in income of rural households
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Announces absorption of 145 employees of Centaur Hotel

JAMMU: The Administrative Council (AC) which met here under the Chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha also took note of the Project Design Report (PDR) on Competitiveness Improvement of Agriculture and Allied Sectors Project in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (JKCIP) and progress made by the J&K Agriculture Production Department till date, an official spokesman said Sunday.

As per the proposal JKCIP shall be implemented in J&K in 90 Blocks across all 20 Districts over next 7 years with the support of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the tune of 100 million USD. The goal of the project is to contribute to the sustained increase in incomes of rural households by improving the competitiveness of farming operations, the spokesman said.

The project objective is to improve the competitiveness of the famers through a value chain approach covering production, value addition and marketing coupled with business incubation with start-up/agri-enterprise support.

The total outreach of the project will be 300,000 households of which 141,000 will be women (47%), 90,000 youth (30%) and 30,000 vulnerable communities (SCs/STs) (10%) in total reaching 1.5 million individuals.

The project will have four interlinked components: (i) Climate-smart and market-led production; (ii) Agri-business ecosystem development support; (iii) Support to vulnerable communities; and (iv) Project Management.

The project will support the establishment of 45 new FPOs and strengthening of 56 existing FPOs.  It will also support the training of 1,085 trainers and 16,200 farmers, 800 water management systems, 1,650 protected cultivation units and the expansion of niche crops in 2,805 ha covering 14,025 farmers.

The project, in consonance with the mainstreaming priorities of IFAD, supports the most vulnerable groups comprising STs, SCs, and fisher folks to diversify their livelihood options and to increase their levels of income.

The AC also approved constitution of  the Consolidated Sinking Fund (CSF) and the Guarantee Redemption Fund (GRF) for meeting contingent liabilities of the Government with an initial corpus of Rs. 30.00 Crores for each Fund.

Consolidated Sinking Fund (CSF) is a reserve fund set aside by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The provision for this fund is made in Article 266 (1) of the Indian Constitution. Consolidated Sinking fund is to aid States/ UTs wherein the Government has problems handling their finances, including debt. CSF promotes economic restructuring in States/UTs, especially those with chronic remuneration obligations.

A Guarantee Redemption Fund (GRF) is established in the Public Account of India for redemption of guarantees given to PSEs, financial institutions, etc. by States/UT Govts, whenever such guarantees are invoked.

When the borrowing organizations fail to service their debt burden covered under State Government Guarantee, the lending Banks/ Financial Institutions invoke the State Govt. Guarantee. This becomes liability of the State Government. The Guarantee Redemption Fund  shall be utilized for meeting the payment obligations arising out of the guarantees issued by the UT Government in respect of bonds issued and other  borrowings by the UT level undertakings or other  bodies/ institutions.

The AC also approved absorption of 145 permanent employees of the Centaur Lake View Hotel, Srinagar in Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation Ltd (JKCCC) and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation Ltd, Srinagar (JKTDC) with effect from 01.03.2023 instead of 22-05-2023.

This is in pursuance to the process of outsourcing of the assets of Tourism Department. Administrative Council in its decision dated 22-05-2023 had approved absorption of these employees with effect from 22-05-2023 and Government Order No. 86-JK(TSM) of 2023 dated 12.07.2023  was issued in this behalf, the spokesman added.

The matter was examined by a high powered committee constituted under the administrative mechanism for resolution of disputes by  Department of Legal Affairs, Govt of India and recommended by the Committee constituted by GAD vide Government Order No. 536-JK(GAD) of 2023 dated 02.05.2023 and also as per the concurrence of the Finance Department.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor; Atal Dulloo, Chief Secretary; Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Principal Secretary to LG attended the meeting.

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