Dr. Singh chairs meeting on J&K development

Announces Rs. 710 cr for land acquisition under PMGSY

SRINAGAR – Chairing a high level meeting on development issues at SKICC here in which Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah made a comprehensive presentation, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh announced the agreement of Union Government for granting Rs. 710 crores to the State to meet the expenditure on account of land acquisition under PMGSY.

“Good news is this that a note has already been prepared for grant of Rs. 710 crores to the State under PMGSY for land acquisition”, he said adding that the proposal would be receiving Union Cabinet nod soon.

Dr. Singh assured full support of the Union Government to the State for its holistic and inclusive development. He said despite financial constraints at the Union Government level prevailing at present, he would use his influence to provide substantial plan to the State for the current fiscal. He said UPA Government notwithstanding the difficulty of financial constraints is extended full financial support to the State. “When it comes to financing Jammu and Kashmir we do not count the financial constraints”, he added aimed applause.

            The Prime Minister emphasized on upgrading the financial discipline and added that better financial management would help the State to receive enhanced funds. He also called for enhancing the agriculture growth and said that he would use his office for providing more funds to the State under horticulture mission.

          Dr. Manmohan Singh praised the masterly PowerPoint presentation made by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah in the meeting and said that Chief Minister in his presentation has given complete account of the achievements, problems and needs of the State to realize the ambition of providing better facilities of life to the people.

            Earlier, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah while explaining the development contours and economic indicators of the State underlined the need for political resolution of grievances and aspirations of pluralistic and diverse State like Jammu and Kashmir describing this essentially important.

            Omar Abdullah also talked about resumption of sustained and meaningful dialogue with Pakistan expressing the hope that the new Pak Premier would create conducive atmosphere for resumption for talks. He also pitched for restoration of internal dialogue with diverse political opinion in an inclusive manner.

            The Chief Minister stressed on giving a beginning to the implementation process of the recommendations made by Interlocutors Group. He also sought comprehensive review of Cross LoC Trade and Travel and demanded early provision of full body scanners to be installed at Poonch and Uri besides easing trade restrictions. He also advocated for early completion of demining of areas across LoC. He also expressed satisfaction over the Rehabilitation Policy and said that 422 cases have been sanctioned under this policy out of 1094 applications received. He reiterated the demand for granting ST status to Pahari speaking people underlying it as a long pending demand.

            The Chief Minister while presenting State’s development scenario and its needs to march ahead on socio-economic development path, expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson for their liberal and unflinching support to the State.

            Omar Abdullah said that average annual growth in the State has been achieved at 6.25 percent adding that robust plan allocations of Rs. 44000 crore for 12th Plan and an Annual Plan of Rs. 7300 crore last year, and reasonable high increase in resources under 13th Finance Commission has given considerable fillip to the development activities. He also mentioned enhanced connectivity through construction of Railway Lines, 4-laning of National Highway and upgradation of Srinagar and Jammu Airports. He also mentioned the benefits of initiatives like Udan, Himayat and UMEED. He said that resolution of large number of issues has been achieved in the meetings the State officers held with the Central Team headed by the Cabinet Secretary and Union Secretaries. He also mentioned the extension of Central package for industrial units in Jammu and Kashmir beyond June 2012 and thanked the Prime Minister for this gesture.

            The Chief Minister while expressing solidarity with the sufferers of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh natural calamities said that the Jammu and Kashmir Government has pledged Rs. one crore to PM’s Relief Fund for the affected families of these States.

            Speaking on security scenario, the Chief Minister said that coalition government has lived up to its promises and expectations of people adding that positive atmospherics marked by hope, optimism, peace and harmony is rooting in the State. He said year 2012 has been the best in 25 years on all security parameters. He said footprints of security forces are being progressively reduced and local police is visibly involved in counter insurgency operations. He said 54 bunkers have been removed from Srinagar city while 179 schools, 37 hospital buildings, 33 hotels, 919 private buildings, 264 government buildings and 26 industrial units have been vacated from the forces.

            Omar Abdullah said that Jammu and Kashmir’s economy has grown at 15.36 percent last year. “GSDP at current price is up from Rs. 42315 crores in 2008-09 to Rs. 76115 crores in 2012-13. The per capita income is up from Rs. 37282 crores in 2008-09 to Rs. 63684 crores in 2012-13. He said the State has received highest ever plan of 7300 crore last year and is pitching for Rs. 8000 crore for the current year and Rs. 600 crore under PMRP. He said capital expenditure of over Rs. 12000 crore has been made this year to result in significant economic growth, qualitative upgradation of social and economic infrastructure and creation of massive employment opportunities.

            The Chief Minister also referred to the initiatives taken for Smart-governance and talked about revival of important institutions of governance like State Information Commission, State Accountability Commission, State Vigilance Commission and State Human Rights Commission. He also made reference to the landmark legislations of Right to Information Act and Public Service Guarantee Act.

            Omar Abdullah said that by the efforts of the government panchayats in the State are emerging as vibrant and effective institutions. He said transfer of powers in respect of 14 departments and devolution of Rs. 231 crore to panchayats besides training to 34000 panchayat members within and outside the State and constitution of 4000 Panchayat Adalats has given considerable strength to the Panchayati Raj System in the State.

            Omar Abdullah said that road sector is receiving considerable thrust adding that State Road Development Corporation is in place. He said 3000 kilometres of roads have been black topped and macadamized in 2012 while work on 567 bridges has been accelerated. He said 81 new bridge schemes have been taken in hand during the current fiscal while 1161 kilometres of new roads have been completed under PMGSY by December last year. He sought Central assistance for construction of 3 major tunnels namely Singhpora-Vailoo, Lolab-Bandipora and Chattapani-Zaznar on Mughal Road. He also sought Rs. 932 crore financial support from the Centre for construction of 102 roads in militancy hit areas.

            The Chief Minister while giving resume of the power scenario in the State, said that turn-around of the State’s finances is possible through power sector. He mentioned multipronged strategy put in place to execute hydro electric projects with 9000 MW capacity over 12th and 13th Finance Commission. He sought construction of 220 KV, S/C Srinagar-Leh Transmission Line by PGCIL at the earliest and another 400 KV Transmission Leh from Srinagar to Leh besides help for upgrading HT/LT network in rural areas of the State. He also urged for transfer of Dulhasti HEP to the State as recommended by Dr. Rangarajan Committee.

            The Chief Minister also mentioned major achievements in health and education sectors as also those registered in other public service delivery sectors and the sector of social welfare and employment generation. He made mention of the endeavours of the government to ameliorate the lot of artisans and referred to the development of handicraft clusters in Srinagar down town to bring it on tourist map.

            Omar Abdullah also spoke on other sectors and sought Prime Minister’s help in strengthening the education and health sector. He said 45 Degree Colleges, 2 Central Universities, 3 Private Universities and 11 Offsite Campuses have established in the State and sought Union Government’s help for establishment of 12 Degree Colleges in 12 uncovered districts.

            Present on the occasion were Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, All the Members of State Council of Ministers, Advisors to the Prime Minister, J&K Chief Secretary, Union Additional Secretary Home, Director General of J&K Police, all Principal Secretaries, Commissioner Secretaries and Secretaries to the State Government.

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