Will continue to insist with Centre to treat JK as Special Category State: Mufti


BUDGAM– Urging the Centre to continue to treat J&K as a Special Category State under Centrally-Sponsored Schemes (CSSs), Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today directed the administrative machinery to ensure that benefits of all social sector schemes percolate down to the people at the grassroots level. 

He said with NITI Ayog revising funding norms under Central Schemes, he will continue to insist upon 90:10 dispensation with Central Government for overcoming huge locational disadvantage, coupled with difficult security scenario that the State has countenanced over the past 25 years.     

The Chief Minister made these observations after inaugurating a three-day Public Information Campaign (PIC), organized by PIB, on generating awareness about Centrally-Sponsored Schemes, here today.

Calling upon Central Government to forge a better match between schemes and needs of the states, Chief Minister said he has presented his viewpoint of continuing funding to J&K and NE States as per present norms to the Sub Group of 10 Chief Ministers formed in NITI Ayog for rationalization of Centrally-Sponsored Schemes. “We cannot ignore the role of Central Schemes like PMGSY & NRHM in ushering in an era of rapid development of the State, in particular its remote and far-flung areas,” he stated.

Addressing a large gathering of people here, Mufti Sayeed said those who were at the helm of affairs for years together, are expecting results from the Government which has been in power for only 100 days. “The previous regime has left us scratching bottoms of empty coffers. In 2002, when we took over reins from a similar Government which had been voted out of power, we succeeded in bringing the State out of darkness and restoring people’s confidence by providing a corruption-free administration,” he said and assured that the new Government will again come up to the expectations of the people by achieving its goal of good governance.

Promising to make J&K hub of educational excellence, the Chief Minister linked quality of education with generation of ample opportunities of employment in the ‘Age of Knowledge’. “Intelligence is in our genes. We will channelize it to bring J&K on top,” he assured.

While appreciating the efforts of the Education Department in revitalizing the sector, he urged upon Government schools to improve the standard of education so that people across board prefer to admit their wards in such institutions.

Placing high priority on development of health sector, Mufti Sayeed assured that impediments in implementation of schemes related to the sector will be removed. “We need to upgrade basic health infrastructure at district and sub-district hospitals and provide specialist doctors so that people do not have to move from pillar to post for advanced medical treatment,” he stated.

The Chief Minister said the State has submitted a comprehensive proposal for Flood Protection & Management to the Central Government under which an additional flood channel has been conceived. Meanwhile, he said, the dredging of rivers and spill over channels is being undertaken to increase their carrying capacity.    

Handing out an assurance to people on improving the condition of all major and inter-district roads, the Chief Minister said he has himself travelled to all district headquarters and issued directions to Minister for Public Works to ensure quality of work by making it binding on contractors to maintain roads for three years. He said the road at Athwajan, near Pantha Chowk, is being widened by shifting utilities and compensating people whose houses have come in alignment, which was a major bottleneck in movement of vehicles on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Asking people to strictly adhere to rules, the Chief Minister also stressed on ensuring an Effective Traffic Management System in the two Capital Cities by removing encroachments and utilizing parking lots.

Minister of State for Health & Social Welfare, Asiya Naqash, MLC, Saif-ud-din Bhat, ADG, PIB, Ubaid-ur-Rehman, Deputy Commissioner, Budgam, Mir Altaf, former MLA, Dr. Mohammad Shafi, were also present on the occasion.

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