Srinagar: Former Union Minister and Senior Congress Leader, Prof. Saifuddin Soz Friday said that Jaitley Budget has rather let-down the people of J&K State whose requirement for social and economic development has received extremely scant attention.
In a statement issued to KNS, Soz said that it is so tragic that the budget has not even addressed the case for rehabilitation of sufferers of the devastating floods of September, 2014. This is a pathetic attitude, to say the least. The loud whisper in Kashmir is that PM Modi has totally neglected flood sufferers.
The expectation for a special package for the unemployed youth too has not received any attention. The urgent need for promotion of Handicrafts sector in the State has also not been addressed. In the absence of any significant industrial development in the State, the promotion of Horticulture should have received a special package. This sector has scope for promotion in all the three regions of the State, he said.
It is so tragic that the package announced earlier by PM Modi was not subjected to any scrutiny on its elements, either by the Central agencies or by the State Govt., so that the general run of the people of the country could know what exactly PM Modi had offered to the J&K State.
Let me remind the people that out of the package of Rs.80,000/- crores, Rs. 35 thousand crores were meant for Road Development Projects. It is like throwing dust into the eyes of the people as those projects were sanctioned by UPA-II. The construction of Four-Lane Road from Jammu to Srinagar and onwards was sanctioned by UPA II and four lane road had been completed from Jammu to Udhampur during UPA-II. All money was sanctioned by the then Cabinet.
It was Rahul Gandhi who had taken personal interest and convinced the then cabinet to sanction
Rs. 9000/- crores for Zo-jila Tunnel and Rs. 3000/- crores for construction of Z-More tunnel. All this was included by PM Modi in his co-called relief package of Rs. 80,000/- (Eighty thousand crores).
Against the backdrop of Modi package, the provisions in the present budget for the people of J&K State constitute a Big Joke.
A new head that includes border migrants of J&K State has been clubbed with migrants of Sri-Lanka with a meagre provision of Rs. 16.6 crores. The relief to Kashmiri Migrants (Pandits) has been clubbed with border migrants, refugees from Sri-Lanka, those from west and each Pakistan, Tibet and North-Eastern States!
People of the State will know gradually as to what Pashmina Wool Development means and see what can be achieved in Rs. 15 crores and imagine, just Rs. 10 crores for development of the rest of the Handicrafts sector! One doesnt know at the moment, as to what allocation of Rs. 100 crores for Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation means. It remains to be seen as to what kind of Spiritualism is acceptable to Modi Ji!
Yes, provision has been made for security related expenditure and border area development, but what about the social and economic development of the people of J&K State?
Even, the enhancement of the sports facilities in J&K State has been clubbed with physical education grant to N.C.C and Himalayan Regional Sports Festival with a total allocation of Rs. 194.13 crores. The promotion of sports development in J&K State can be imagined.
Further, a special need-based assistance of Rs. 9000 crores has been kept aside with the Ministry of Finance which will also finance special needs of J&K State. This amount of Rs. 9000 crores is meant for the entire country; the share of J&K State is going to be next to nothing.
The share of J&K State from the Central Tax Pool is nothing special to J&K State. Every State in India has got the share from the Central Tax Pool.
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