Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said that Jammu and Kashmir was breathing freely and touching new heights of development.

Addressing a large gathering at the Viksit Bharat Viksit Jammu Kashmir programme at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar, the PM said, “Jammu and Kashmir is breathing freely today and achieving new heights.”

He said that the abrogation of Article 370 had led to the respect of the youth’s talent and equal rights and equal opportunities for everyone.

“The feeling of arriving in heaven on earth cannot be put into words. This unparalleled form of nature, the air, the valley, the environment and the love and affection of Kashmiri brothers and sisters,” PM Modi said.

He also acknowledged the presence of citizens outside the venue, and more than 1 lakh people from 285 blocks connected to the event via video link.

Underlining that the new J&K was the one that had been awaited for decades, the PM said, “Shyama Prasad Mookerji had sacrificed for this J&K.”

He said that the new J&K had the sparkle for the future in its eyes and the determination to clear all obstacles.

“The 140 crore citizens of India feel at peace when they see the smiling faces of the people of J&K,” the PM said.

Expressing his gratitude for the affection of the people of J&K, he said, “Modi will not leave any stone unturned to repay this debt of affection. I’m doing all this hard work to win your hearts and I believe that I am on the right path. I will continue my efforts to win your hearts. This is Modi’s guarantee and all of you know that Modi’s guarantee means the guarantee of fulfilment of guarantee.”

Recalling his recent visit to Jammu where he started infrastructure and education projects worth Rs 32,000 crores, PM Modi mentioned today’s projects related to tourism and development, and agriculture along with appointment letters that were distributed today.

“Power of development, potential of tourism, capabilities of farmers, and leadership of the youth of J&K will pave the way for Viksit J&K,” he said. “J&K is not just a place. J&K is the head of India. A head held high is a symbol of development and respect. So, Viksit J&K is the priority of Viksit Bharat,” he said.

The PM recalled the time when laws implemented in the country were not implemented in J&K and mentioned schemes for the welfare of the poor that could not be availed by the deprived.

Highlighting the change of fortunes, he said that schemes for the entire nation had been launched today from Srinagar and J&K was leading the way for tourism in the country.

PM Modi said that people from more than 50 places in India had joined the occasion.

He touched upon the six projects that were being dedicated to the nation today under the Swadesh Darshan scheme as well as the initiation of its next phase.

The PM said that around 30 projects had been launched for various cities in the country including Srinagar while three projects had been inaugurated and 14 others launched under the PRASAD scheme.

He said that the development works being carried out in the Hazratbal shrine for the convenience of the people had also been completed.

PM Modi informed about the ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice’ campaign where 40 places had been identified by the government to be developed as tourist destinations in the next 2 years.

He said that under the campaign the government would develop the most preferred tourist destinations based on public opinion.

The PM also mentioned the ‘Chalo India’ campaign to encourage NRIs to come to India.

Congratulating the citizens of J&K for the development works of today, he said that it would help in developing the tourism industry of the region and creating new employment opportunities.

“When intentions are noble and there is a determination to fulfil commitments, results are bound to follow,” PM Modi said.

He highlighted the successful hosting of the G-20 summit in J&K.

Addressing the transformative growth in tourism, the PM said, “There was a time when people questioned who would visit J&K for tourism. Today, J&K is breaking all tourism records. In 2023 alone, J&K welcomed over 2 crore tourists, surpassing previous records. Over the past 10 years, the Amarnath Yatra has witnessed the highest number of the yatris participating, and Vaishno Devi also recorded a significant increase in devotee footfall.”

Highlighting the surge in foreign tourist arrivals and the growing attraction for celebrities and international guests, he said, “Now, even prominent celebrities and foreign guests visit the valleys of J&K to explore and create videos and reels.”

About agriculture, PM Modi emphasised the strength of J&K’s agricultural produce, including saffron, apples, dried fruits, and cherries, branding the region as a significant agricultural hub.

He said that the Rs 5000 crore agricultural development programme would result in unprecedented growth in the agricultural sector of J&K over the next 5 years, particularly focusing on horticulture and livestock development.

“This initiative will create thousands of new opportunities, especially in the fields of horticulture and animal husbandry,” the PM said.

He mentioned direct transfers of nearly Rs 3000 crore under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme to the accounts of farmers in J&K.

“To enhance the storage capacity for fruits and vegetables and ensure their prolonged preservation, significant investments have been made to increase storage facilities in J&K,” PM Modi said.

He said that the commencement of the ‘world’s largest warehousing scheme’, would include the construction of numerous warehouses across J&K.

Noting the rapid pace of development in J&K, the PM mentioned 2 AIIMS saying AIIMS Jammu had already been inaugurated and work was going on at AIIMS Kashmir.

He talked about seven new medical colleges, two cancer hospitals and institutes like IIT and IIM in the region.

PM Modi said that 2 Vande Bharat trains were running in J&K and rail services from Srinagar to Sangaldan and from Sangaldan to Baramul had started.

“This expansion of connectivity has given a push to economic activities,” he said.

Referring to new projects to make Srinagar and Jammu smart cities, the PM said, “In the coming times, the success story of J&K will become an example for the entire world.”

Recalling his mentions of handicrafts and the cleanliness of the region in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, he underlined J&K’s connection with lotus.

Highlighting the efforts of the government for the development of the youth of J&K in every field, PM Modi said that new opportunities were being created ranging from skill development to sports and mentioned the modern sports facilities being built in every district of J&K.

He gave the example of multi-purpose indoor sports halls built in 17 districts and J&K hosting many national sports tournaments.

“J&K is emerging as the winter sports capital of the country. Nearly 1000 players participated in the recently held Khelo India Winter Games,” the PM said.

He spoke about the refugees from Pakistan, the Valmiki community and sanitation workers getting voting rights, fulfilling the demand of the Valmiki community for the SC category, reservation of seats in the assembly for Scheduled Tribes, and the inclusion of Paddari tribe, Pahari ethnic group, Gadda Brahmin and Koli communities in the Scheduled Tribes.

PM Modi also pointed out that dynastic politics in J&K deprived the right to reservation to other backward classes in panchayat, municipality, and municipal corporation as provided in the government. “Today every class is being returned its rights,” he said.

Dwelling on the transformation of the J&K Bank, the PM recalled the mismanagement of the past and called it a victim of dynasty politics and corruption.

He listed the reforms to restore the health of the bank.

PM Modi mentioned Rs 1000 crore assistance to the bank and action against wrongful appointments.

He said that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was still investigating thousands of such appointments.

The PM highlighted the transparent recruitments in the last 5 years.

“As a result, the J&K Bank profit reached Rs 1700 crores and business reached Rs 2.25 lakh crore from Rs 1.25 crore 5 years ago. Deposits also increased from Rs 80,000 crore to Rs 1.25 lakh crore. NPA that had crossed 11 percent five years ago has been brought down to below 5 percent. The share of the bank has also seen a 12-fold rise to about Rs 140 from Rs 12 five years ago,” he said. “When there is an honest government, the intention is for the welfare of the people, then the people can be brought out of every difficulty.”

Pointing out that J&K had been the biggest victim of dynastic politics since independence, PM Modi assured the people that the development campaign for J&K would not stop at any cost and that the region would develop more rapidly in the next 5 years.

He extended his best wishes to the entire nation on the holy month of Ramadan.

“It is my wish that everyone should get the message of peace and harmony from the month of Ramadan. Tomorrow is Mahashivratri, I wish everyone the best of this holy festival,” the PM said.

On the occasion, he also dedicated to the nation Holistic Agriculture Development Programme (HADP) worth about Rs 5000 crores and launched multiple projects related to the tourism sector worth more than Rs 1400 crore under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD scheme including the project for ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine’ in Srinagar.

PM Modi also launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice Tourist Destination Poll’ and ‘Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign’ and announced tourist destinations selected under the Challenge Based Destination Development (CBDD) Scheme.

He also distributed appointment orders to about 1000 new government recruits of J&K and will also interact with beneficiaries of various government schemes including women achievers, Lakhpati Didis, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh were also present on the occasion.



Nazim Nazeer from Pulwama who is a beekeeper described his journey to the PM about expanding his business by availing benefits from the government where he bought 25 boxes for beekeeping at a 50 percent subsidy.

He also threw light on his economic growth throughout the journey where he gradually expanded to 200 boxes for beekeeping by availing Rs 5 lakh under PM’s Employment Generation Programme.

This led to Nazeer building a brand for himself and creating a website that further generated thousands of orders worth about 5000 kg across the country, growing his business to almost 2000 beekeeping boxes and engaging about 100 youth from the region.

He told the PM about receiving an FPO in 2023 which helped him grow his business.

Nazeer also thanked him for launching the Digital India initiative that has transformed the Fintech landscape in the country.

PM Modi lauded Nazeer’s effort for leading the way to a sweet revolution in J&K and congratulated him on his success.

Upon the PM’s enquiry about getting initial support from the government to establish the business, Nazeer said that even though he faced initial difficulty, the Department of Agriculture came forward and supported his cause.

Noting that the business of beekeeping was a fairly new sector, PM Modi highlighted its benefits and said that bees, in a way, work like farm labourers making it beneficial for crops.

Nazeer said that landowners were ready to offer land for beekeeping at no cost as the process was also beneficial for the farmers.

The PM suggested Nazeer research the honey produced in Central Asia around the Hindu Kush Mountains and also asked him to look towards crafting a new taste for honey by growing specific flowers around the boxes as it has a niche market.

He also mentioned similar successful efforts in Uttarakhand.

PM Modi expressed delight at Acacia Honey’s price going up to Rs 1000 per kg from Rs 400 per kg due to high demand across the world.

He lauded the clarity of thought and vision, and the courage shown by Nazeer in running his business and also congratulated his parents.

The PM said that Nazeer was also giving direction to the youth of India and becoming an inspiration.



Ahtesham Majid Bhat of Srinagar is a bakery entrepreneur who through a food technology skill development programme brought in innovations in the bakery.

She was supported by the incubation centre at Government Polytechnic for Women Skill Development. The government’s single window system helped her and her team in getting all the NoCs from various departments.

PM Modi told her that in the last 10 years, the government had been providing all the support to the crores of youth in realising their startup dreams.

He praised her for involving her friends from different districts in her entrepreneurial ventures.

“It is our efforts that the ideas of our youth do not suffer from the deficiency of resources and finance. They should move with confidence. These daughters of J&K are creating new inspiring examples for the youth of the entire nation,” the PM said.

He praised them for taking care of the underprivileged daughters.



Hamida Bano of Ganderbal is involved in the dairy business.

She told PM Modi that she benefited from National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) and opened a processing unit for milk products and that she employed other women also.

She also informed him about the quality check, packaging, and marketing of products and that the milk products were devoid of preservatives.

Hamida told the PM about the elaborate way of marketing her fragile product.

He praised her for her business acumen and also for carrying on the work of nutrition.

PM Modi also complimented her for taking care of quality and doing her business in an environment-friendly way.



In a step that would provide a major boost to the agri-economy of J&K, the PM dedicated the ‘Holistic Agriculture Development Programme’ (HADP) to the nation.

HADP is an integrated programme encompassing the full spectrum of activities in the three major domains of agri-economy – horticulture, agriculture, and livestock husbandry in J&K.

The programme would equip about 2.5 lakh farmers with skill development via a dedicated Daksh Kisan portal.

Under the programme, about 2000 Kisan Khidmat Ghars would be established and robust value chains would be put in place for the welfare of the farming community.

The programme would lead to employment generation benefiting lakhs of marginal families in J&K.



The PM’s vision is to improve the overall experience of tourists and pilgrims visiting prominent pilgrimage and tourism sites nationwide by building world-class infrastructure and amenities at these sites.

In line with this, he dedicated to the nation and launched multiple initiatives under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes worth more than Rs 1400 crore.



The projects dedicated to the nation by PM Modi included development of ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine’ in Srinagar, J&K; tourism facilities developed in Northeast circuit in Meghalaya; Spiritual circuit in Bihar and Rajasthan; Rural and Tirthankar circuit in Bihar; development of Jogulamba Devi Temple in Jogulamba Gadwal in Telangana; and development of Amarkantak Temple at Anuppur in Madhya Pradesh.



To create world-class infrastructure and amenities for pilgrims and tourists visiting the Hazratbal shrine, and to enhance their holistic spiritual experience, the project ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine’ has been executed.

The key components of the project include site development of the entire area including the construction of the boundary wall of the shrine; illumination of the precinct of the Hazratbal shrine; improvement of Ghats and Devri paths around the shrine; construction of the Sufi Interpretation Center; construction of Tourist Facilitation Centre; installation of signages; multilevel storied car parking; construction of public convenience block, and entrance gateway of the shrine among others.



The Prime Minister also launched about 43 projects that will develop a wide range of pilgrimage and tourist sites across the country.

These include important religious sites like the Annavaram Temple at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh; Navagraha Temples at Thanjavur and Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal in Puducherry; Sri Chamundeshwari Devi Templeat Mysore in Karnataka; Karni Mata Mandir at Bikaner in Rajasthan; Maa Chintpurni Temple at Una in Himachal Pradesh and Basilica of Bom Jesus Church in Goa.


Experience Centres

The projects also include the development of various other sites and experience centres like Mechuka Adventure Park in Arunachal Pradesh; Rural Tourism Cluster Experience at Gunji, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand; Ecotourism Zone at Ananthagiri Forest, Ananthagiri, Telangana; Meghalayan Age Cave Experience and Waterfall Trails Experience at Sohra, Meghalaya;

Reimagining Cinnamara Tea Estate, Jorhat, Assam; Ecotourism experience at Kanjli Wetland, Kapurthala, Punjab and Julley, Leh Biodiversity Park in Leh.



During the programme, the PM announced 42 tourist destinations selected under the Challenge-Based Destination Development (CBDD) Scheme.

The innovative scheme, announced during Union Budget 2023-24, aims to provide end-to-end tourist experiences by catalysing the development of tourist destinations while also promoting sustainability and ushering competitiveness in the tourism sector.

The 42 destinations have been identified in four categories – 16 in culture and heritage destinations, 11 in spiritual destinations, 10 in ecotourism and Amrit Dharohar, and 5 in Vibrant Village.



The PM launched the first-ever nationwide initiative to identify the pulse of the nation on tourism, in the form of ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice 2024’.

The nationwide poll aims to engage with citizens to identify the most preferred tourist attractions and understand tourist perceptions across 5 tourism categories – spiritual, cultural and heritage, nature and wildlife, adventure, and one another category.

Besides the four main categories, the other category is where one could vote for their personal favourites and help uncover hidden tourism gems in the form of unexplored tourism attractions and destinations like Vibrant Border Villages, Wellness Tourism, and Wedding Tourism.

This poll exercise is being hosted on the MyGov platform, the citizen engagement portal of the Government of India.


Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign

PM Modi also launched the ‘Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign’ to inspire the Indian diaspora to become Incredible India ambassadors and promote tourism to India.

The campaign is being launched based on the clarion call of the PM, wherein he requested Indian diaspora members to encourage at least five non-Indian friends to travel to India.

With more than 3 crore overseas Indians, the Indian diaspora could serve as a powerful catalyst for Indian tourism, acting as cultural ambassadors