She arrived in Srinagar on her first visit to J&K since August, 5, 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated and the state bifurcated into two Union Territories.
Sitharaman said the development projects in J&K and funds provided to the Union Territory have allowed the people to realise their potential and aspirations. “Citizens are aspiring to participate in the electoral process and we ensured that space is provided to them here after August 5, 2019. People want to grow and we have to make sure to make their aspirations come true,” she said.
The finance minister also met delegations of stakeholders in Srinagar and is scheduled to fly to Jammu on Tuesday, where she will also e-inaugurate some projects.
Sitharaman inaugurated ‘The Chinars’, the new income tax office-cum-residential complex at Rajbagh in Srinagar, in the presence of the J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha.
She interacted with the officials of the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs in Srinagar. She also addressed a gathering of women entrepreneurs working in various sectors including handicraft, copper works, journalism, beekeeping and furniture manufacturing. The participants shared their stories of how they rose above the challenges to benefit their society.
The finance minister also handed over sanction letters of various credit related schemes to women entrepreneurs. “The land of Kashmir is the land of Maa Sharda and that absolute power packed knowledge-driven energy is what has come out here. I appeal to you to move around the country and share your stories,” she said while interacting with women entrepreneurs.
She said 21 projects under the Pradhan Mantri Development Package have been completed.
Along with tax collection, she said, there should be engagement with the people to inform them that every penny of tax contributes to the development of the region.