Governor’s Address Misleading, Directionless Document: Beig

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SRINAGAR: Dubbing Governor Address as misleading, directionless and disturbing document, senior leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Muzaffar Hussain Baig today said that this document has not laid down any target or guidelines for next year.

Participating in the debate on Governor’s Address in the Legislative Assembly, Baig maintained that in the document, the Government has to narrate and set out its road map for the coming years and to highlight achievements of the previous years. In this document the government has also to reveal achievements it had made in the previous year in bringing peace, progress and prosperity and also the efforts to bring transparency and accountability in the governance.

“Unfortunately on all these parameter, the Governor’s Address shows no worth mentioning achievements”, he said, added that achievements mentioned in the document were either achieved or started during the previous regimes headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad. He said that present government has been brazenly trying to take credit of the achievements of previous PDP-Congress regime in the State.

The Governor Address has not mentioned or revealed any step that indicated that the government was serious in bringing transparency and accountability in the governance.

While pointing out that there has been no progress in the front of peace, Mr Baig said that the Governor Address was silent on the implementation of reports of the five Working Groups set up by the Prime Minister. “It is also silent on what action the Cabinet Sub-Committee has taken on the Sageer Committee report. Apparently no progress has been made due to difference between Congress and National Conference”, he said and added that the document was also silent on the report of the Interlocutors, who were appointed after killing of 120 Kashmir youth in the year 2010. “It is also silent why no action has been taken against the culprits who were responsible for the killings of 120 youth”, he said, adding, “the document is also silent on government’s stand on Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) after the Army chief had out rightly rejected this demand on January 3, 2013”.

Mr Baig said that government has also not clear its stand on the demand of a member of the ruling party to conduct plebiscite or statement of National Conference leader Mustafa Kamaal, who had claimed that Indian intelligence agencies were destroying Jammu and Kashmir State politically and constitutionally.

Taking a dig the State Government for its failure to formulate any comprehensive policy for unemployed youth of the State, Mr Baig pointed out that it has been mentioned in the Governor’s Address that over 2.25 lakh youth will be imparted training under Skill Development Mission. Surprisingly last year the government had promised to impart training to over 4 lakh youth under same programme. He said that there was no explanation of the downgrading of this figure from four lakh to 2.25 lakh.

Mr Baig further recalled that last year the Government had mentioned that small number of youth has been enrolled under Sher-i-Kashmir Welfare and Employment Programme but this year no figure has been mentioned.

Governor Address claimed that 20,000 youth will be covered each year, for five years, under “Himayat” scheme but only 1060 have been handing over placement offer letters. “How the government would achieve the target of 20,000 per year?”, he asked.

“It is ironical that the state government has received Rs 7 crore from 3.5 lakh employed youth as application forms but nothing has been returned to them”, he equipped.

The Governor Address has not mentioned what action the State government has been contemplating to take against decision of the Government of India to reject suggestions of Minority Commission to provide reservation to the Kashmir youth in educational institutions across the country to bring them in mainstream as has luckily been done for Kashmir Pandit youth.

The Governor Address has claimed equitable and balanced growth in the State. PDP-Congress regime had setup State Finance Commission to ensure equitable development in all regions and sub-regions. The Commission had submitted its report but the government has not mentioned any reason for delay in implementation of the report.

Castigating the State Government for taking credit of previous PDP-Congress regime, Baig said that Rs 1800 crore, which was sanctioned during the regime of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed regime, was yet to be sanctioned. Furthermore, Nimo-Bazgo power project at Leh and Uri-II was sanctioned and largely completed during PDP-Congress regime. Two grid stations were also got sanctioned by the previous government. He also mentioned that Toll plaza at Lakhanpur, Mugal road, Unani hospital, widening of highway etc were projects of the previous government.

He further pointed out that government has claimed to reduce transmission and distribution losses by 3 percent every year. “It means it will take 20 years for the state to overcome transmission and distribution losses”, he asked.

Baig also ridiculed the State Government for not mentioning anything about holding  Block Development Council (BDC) elections and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) elections. He reminded that last year the government had promised to conduct these elections by the end of April 2012 but this year there was no mention of these elections.

He also flayed the government for not mentioning even a single word about killing of Panchayat members. “Is if this is no issue of concern for the government?”, he said.

Baig further said that government has failed to properly project urgency of implementation of Jehlum Flood project and this was the reason that only 5 percent of the funds for this project have been released so far. He compared this project with another project of Ladakh for which 77 percent of the funds have been released.

Contesting government’s claims that 12 lakh tourists from across the country have visited Kashmir previous year, Baig asked “how many of them were labour force and beggars?”. He said that the government has failed to develop infrastructure for tourists in the State.

Ridiculing government’s claims of getting huge plan outlay in the current financial year, Baig while quoting news reports, said that the Central government has castigated the State Government for fiscal indiscipline. He said that the Government of India has held back funds due to failure on the parts of the State Government.

On the problems of Kashmiri Pandits, Baig strongly objected imposition of ceiling of Rs 6600 per family irrespective of the members of the family. He said that government’s claims on rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir Valley remained only on papers.

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