JAMMU: The Legislative Assembly today passed two Appropriation Bills which were introduced by the Minister for Finance, Mr. A. R. Rather.
The LA Bill No. 9 and 10 of 2013 provide to authorize payment and appropriation of certain sums and withdrawal of certain sums from and out of the Consolidated Fund of the Jammu and Kashmir State for the services of the financial year 2013-14.
Replying to the points raised during discussion on Bills, Mr. Rather said that the grant of scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Pahari Speaking People of J&K has been taken up with the Government of India. In response, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, held a meeting under the chairmanship of Union Home Secretary on May 15, 2012 wherein it has been decided that to study the ethnic characteristics of Pahari Speaking People, eminent research scholars be engaged by the State Government.
Accordingly, he said the Social Welfare Department has constituted a Committee of research scholars for the purpose with the stipulation that the report shall be made available within a period of 4 months. The Committee comprises Dr. Pirzada Mohammad Amin Shah, Head Department of Social Work, University of Kashmir, Dr. Ashish Sexsena, Associate Prof. Department of Sociology, University of Jammu, Dr. Suresh Baba, Sr. Assistant Prof. Department of Sociology, University of Jammu and Dr. Shazia Manzoor, Assistant Prof. Department of Social Work, University of Kashmir.
The Minister said that as soon as the report is received it shall be put before the Government for its consideration/adoption and recommendation to the Centre.
He said that the State Government had from time to time taken up the case with Government of India for declaring various groups of people as Scheduled Tribes, including Kolisand Chopans. The Government of India has asked for detailed information in respect of the said people about their habitations, life pattern etc in addition to the information submitted with the proposal. Accordingly, the Deputy Commissioners have been directed to furnish the detailed report expeditiously so that the same could be forwarded to the Government of India, Mr. Rather added.
In response to another point, Mr. Rather said the proposal regarding Development of Environmental Park at Gangerg Hills of Udhampur, has been submitted by the Director, Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing to Forest Department at a cost of Rs 59.57 lakh for funding for the current financial year and an amount of Rs 8 lakh out of the accrued saving of Rs 85.47 lakh have been projected to Planning and Development Department for its re-appropriation. But, due to financial constraints the Planning and Development Department has shown inability for re-appropriation of funds for this component for the current year.
Regarding development of Devika, Mr. Rather said an amount of Rs 7.23 crore has been spent on its development by PED, UEED and Irrigation and Flood Control Departments from 2005-06 to 2007-08.
Replying to another point, Mr. Rather said that the Draft Master Plan Udhampur has been submitted by the Chief Town Planner, Jammu to the Government recently. However, before the same is put to public domain for inviting of objections, notifications are to be issued with regard to declaration of the local areas of the Master Plan and creation of Udhampur Development Authority. These issues are under process in the Urban Development Department, he added.
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