Plugging Corruption Tops HM’s Agenda in Srinagar


SRINAGAR — Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday concluded his two-day visit to Kashmir Valley during which he held series of security and developmental review meetings. 

Officials said that Amit Shah, who arrived on Wednesday afternoon, reviewed security scenario in the state, preparations for the Shri Amarnathji Yatra and provide good governance in the state.

He also interacted with a representative group of Sarpanches from the state to “gain an insight” into the current state of functioning of Panchayats in the state.

The meetings in Srinagar were attended by the Governor, Union Home Secretary, all four Advisors, the Chief Secretary and Senior officials of the State and Central Governments, of Security Agencies and the Armed Forces.

The review of development programmes focused on improving the lives of the common man and covered a wide range of issues connected with improving the economic condition of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, providing them with employment and livelihood opportunities, providing them the benefit of social security schemes, and raising their incomes, an official spokesman said. It also included, among others, good governance, accelerating development, strengthening the Panchayat and Municipal system, fast tracking the implementation of the Prime Minister Development Package, building first rate infrastructure, inclusive growth for all communities, balanced regional development with special emphasis on employment generation, and reaching out to the youth.

The Home Minister’s focus was primarily on ensuring that the benefits of growth and development reach the poorest of the poor, the spokesman said.

He asked the State Government to focus on better and more efficient implementation of development schemes so that corruption and leakages are plugged and the citizens to get the intended benefits.

While reviewing the preparations for the Shri Amarnathji Yatra, the Union Home Minister’s focus was on a safe and smooth conduct of the Yatra. The review focused on the preparations made so far by security forces in this regard, the improvements made in the arrangements as compared to the previous years and any further requirements of security forces. The review also examined the administrative and other arrangements made for ensuring smooth conduct of the Yatra.

In the Security Review, the security agencies gave a detailed briefing on the security scenario in the state, the results of the last one years’ efforts in containing militancy and their future plans, the spokesman said. While the improvements in the security scenario were noted and appreciated, there was a detailed discussion on what further improvements could be made for restoring peace normalcy in the state.

The Home Minister gave directions on a number of issues and among others include that the State Government should ensure that old age, disability and widow pensions reach all those entitled to these, in a timely manner. There should be a quick scrutiny of all eligible people who are left out and ensuring that they are included. The Central Government will ensure additional funds.

“The dairy and animal husbandry sector has great potential in this state. The State should work towards signing an MOU with Amul or Mother Dairy and create a programme for ensuring that it becomes surplus in this sector. This is a sector whose benefits would flow to even small households,” the spokesman quoted him as saying.

He said the Poultry sector too has great potential with the state importing large volumes of poultry products. “The State should create schemes for improving the poultry sector as this sector improves the livelihoods of the poorest. The Central Government would support efforts in this direction.”

He said the Handloom and Handicraft Sector is one of the brightest spots on J&K’s economic landscape. The potential in this has not been fully captured. The state should take the help of the Khadi & Village Industries, MSME and Textiles departments of the Central Government to improve nearly 40 various spheres in this sector. The growth of this sector would increase employment and livelihoods of poor households.

“The state should ensure that the newly established Panchayati Raj and Urban Local Body system takes deep roots and establishes itself as the third tier of government. There should be a drive to ensure that Panchayats and ULBs spend the funds given to them. These funds run into thousands of crores and ensuring their proper utilization would benefit the people.”

He said there are many socially disadvantaged groups in the state such as Paharis, Gujars, Bakarwals and other Economically Weaker Sections. The reservation benefits extended to them should be implemented vigorously and no posts in these classes should go vacant.

“The State Government should take steps to ensure that the newly created Anti-Corruption Bureau focuses on cases of rampant corruption by the High and Mighty.”

He said women being the key to any development process need to be at the centre of all programmes. The state should work in this direction so that women can get better employment opportunities and livelihoods.

“Similarly, the state should prepare a programme for reaching out to the youth who are highly skilled such as MBBS, Engineers, MBAs etc. and do not have gainful employment or livelihood.”

He said state officers should be fully be sensitive towards balanced development of all the three regions, – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. 



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