NEW DELHI: A team of the DoNER Ministry will soon visit Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to suggest ways to replicate in the region the successful initiatives taken in the Northeast in areas like handicraft, horticulture and organic farming, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.
Chairing a meeting of officials, Singh, who is Minister for Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER), said Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were denied the enormous transformation brought about by the Modi government in different sectors before the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of the state.
He expressed confidence that the region will now be able to progress at the same pace and scale as the rest of the country.
Singh said a team of DoNER Ministry has been deputed to tour Jammu and Kashmir and suggest how best the Northeast's successful initiatives in areas like fruit industry, handicraft, horticulture, handloom, organic farming, home-tourism, bamboo entrepreneurship, rural livelihood, etc could be replicated in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, an official statement said.
The Northeast model of development is there before everyone and there is no reason why it cannot be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, he said.
Singh, also minister for the PMO and Department of Space, said Article 370 blocked the Northeast's successful initiatives from being introduced in Jammu and Kashmir for reasons which were "frivolous or self-righteous".
In the last five years, with the personal indulgence and patronage from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Northeastern region underwent revolutionary transformation which is being lauded all over, he said.
Unfortunately, Jammu and Kashmir, despite several similarities with the Northeast, could not avail of the highest priority accorded by the Modi government to far flung and peripheral states.
Singh said in many ways Jammu and Kashmir suffers from lesser constraints compared to the Northeastern region.
For example, he said, Jammu and Kashmir has much better connectivity with frequent rail service and short duration air flights as well as all-weather four-lane road connection with rest of the country.
In spite of this, he said, "the question that we must address is why Jammu and Kashmir could not benefit by an equal transformational progress compared to possibly more difficult terrain of North Eastern region".