NEW DELHI: he Centre today announced an additional package of Rs 2,437 crore for reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in a joint press conference, said Rs 2,602 crore had already been released last year by the government to help the state in relief and rehabilitation work.
“Last year, Rs 2,602 crore had been released last year. Other than this, Rs 2,437 crore will be released this year,” Jaitley told reporters here.
He said a team of Niti Aayog’s Chief Executive Officer and Expenditure Secretary will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of its future development needs.
“We will make a larger development plan. The officials will discuss with the state and give their views to the Centre on areas like power, highway, education, tourism and health services. The schemes which we have tentatively announced and some more which may be there, that will be decided later,” the Finance Minister said.
Jaitley said there has been a special focus of the central government on development of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh and Ladakh and Kargil regions. “There has been a popular government after the election in the state and the Centre will support it so that it completes its development agenda,” he said.
Jaitley said that development is a work in progress. Last year’s flood have affected all regions. Rs 770 crore was given at that time under the Prime Minister Relief Fund and Rs 1,602 crore was released under State Disaster Relief Fund and National Disaster Relief Fund. Special project assistance of Rs 1,000 crore was also announced by the Prime Minister when he had visited the state, he said.
The Centre has also decided to give foodgrains at Below Poverty Lines (BPL) prices besides approval on construction of Jammu-Srinagar highway. A total of 75,000 ‘kacha and pakka’ houses, which were damaged, will also be rebuilt under the grant, Jaitley said.
Jaitley said there has been growth of Jammu and Kashmir and its three parts.
“Tourism in the state is mainstream and at present a good tourism season is going on. There has been a loss to tourism projects and 12 tourism places,” he said.
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