Brij Raj Sharma Appointed Chief Secretary

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SRINAGAR:  The PDP-BJP Coalition government on Monday appointed Brij Raj Sharma as the new chief secretary, ending the administrative inertia that hit the state after Muhammad Iqbal Khandey chose to seek voluntary retirement (VRS) three months prior to his superannuation.

Mr Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS officer, would remain the chief secretary till 2020.

The cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, chose Mr Sharma as the top bureaucrat of the state superseding four of his seniors – Arun Kumar, Sonali Kumar, Ashok Angurana and Khursheed Ahmad Ganai.

Mr Khandey had sought VRS three months before his Nov 30 superannuation date following differences with his political bosses.

The cabinet also approved Mr Khandey’s request for VRS.

It was also decided that Mr. Sharma shall continue to hold the charge of the post of Administrative Secretary, Planning and Development Department till further orders.

Sharma has held various important positions in the State Administration including Principal Secretary Home, Principal Secretary Planning and Development Department, Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Kathua, Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara and Excise Commissioner.    

‘Ladli Beti’ Social Assistance Scheme

The State Cabinet gave its nod to the adoption of the State Sponsored Social Assistance Scheme ‘Ladli Beti’ for its implementation in six selected districts of Jammu and Kashmir exhibiting low and declining child sex ratio viz Kathua, Jammu, Samba, Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag.

The Scheme ‘Ladli Beti’ has been launched to create a strong positive disposition towards the girl child and aims to reverse the alarming trend of declining child sex ratio. The scheme addresses the concerns of girl’s right from birth to adulthood by providing financial security to the girls.

Under the scheme State Government will contribute Rs.1000 per month towards the birth of every girl child with effect from 1st April 2015 for the next 14 years and on reaching 21 years of age the girl child would receive a sum of Rs. 6.5 lakh.

Girl child born to parents with annual income from all sources less than Rs. 75000 per annum, only shall be eligible for the benefits under the scheme.

The prescribed application form for the scheme will be available at the office of District Social Welfare Officer, Programme Officers, CDPOs and their Sub-ordinate Offices. It can also be downloaded from the official website of the department www.jksocialwelfare.nic.in.

Lease of land for construction of Cold Store at Parimpora

The Cabinet also approved the lease of 07 kanals and 07 marlas land to New Kashmir Fruit Association at Fruit & Vegetable Market, Parimpora, Srinagar for construction of Cold/ Controlled Atmosphere Stores and allied infrastructure under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

It was also decided that apart from the lease deed, the Agriculture Production Department shall sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the lessee regarding mutually agreed modalities in respect of the proposed project.

Concept Paper on ‘Skill and Entrepreneurship Development Mission’

The State Cabinet approved in principle the Concept Paper on launching of J&K Skill and Entrepreneurship Development Mission which would work under the overall supervision of the Chief Minister.

The Concept Paper envisages setting up an exclusive administrative institution which shall energise, boost and reinvigorate skill development landscape in the State in a sustained and integrated manner, instead of multi-sector and crosscutting efforts by various departments so as to enhance employability, income and economic inclusiveness of the youth of the State.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet instructed the Planning & Development Department to come up with a comprehensive memorandum regarding skill development in the next Cabinet meeting.

Revised Master Plan for Pahalgam

The Cabinet which approved the revised Master Plan for Pahalgam which has been named as ‘Pahalgam 2032’.

The Plan has been prepared keeping in view the sensitivity of the local ecology and environment and requirements for tourism and development.

Among other things, the revised Master Plan also proposes that an action plan for solid waste management, sewerage disposal and water supply be prepared for the entire local area of Pahalgam Development Authority including the existing village settlements.

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