Jammu: Noting that dividends of peace in the
shape of revival of economic activities and tourism are now
visible on the ground across J&K, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
Monday cautioned the people against elements "bent upon
creating wedge" between various sections of society.
Addressing a big public gathering at Purmandal in
Samba district, Omar stressed that peace is pre-requisite to
create stability and address issues amicably.
"We have seen the desperation and destruction caused
by disturbance and violence. We have also seen the benefits of
prevailing peace in the state since last year," he said asking
the people to contribute in maintaining tranquillity so that
the state moves on the road to progress and prosperity firmly.
The Chief Minister said that his government has also
percolated peace benefits to the people in the shape of
softening of the provisions of Acts like PSA. "We are also
working for removing other laws imposed owing to the
disturbance and violence," he said.
Omar also asked the people to maintain communal amity and
brotherhood under all circumstances. "Many elements are bent
upon creating wedge between various sections of the society.
People should be cautious against these elements and
strengthen the bonds of harmony and love."
Omar said that the transfer of power from Secretariat to
the public representatives has been an important concern of
"Establishment of Panchayat Raj, Public Service
Guarantee Act (PSGA); Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir State
Right to Information Commission and strengthening of
Accountability Commission are initiatives in this direction",
He said the process of constitution of block panchayat and
district panchayat councils has been set in motion and this
would be finalised soon after the Legislative Council seats
reserved for panchayats are filled from amongst the panchayat
members. "We are committed to a full-fledged three-tier
panchayat system in the state," he said.
Omar said that enactment of PSGA is an innovative
legislation aimed at time bound public service delivery and
reduction of corruption at lower level.
He said that the government has flagged comprehensive
development of farmers and rural populace as an important
aspect in the state`s development policy.
"We have initiated various measures to give necessary
fillip to agriculture," he said adding that this sector has
been made free from all taxes in the current year’s Budget.
"Similarly, government is keen to alleviate rural poverty
and bring villages on par with towns and cities so far
as availability of basic amenities and other development
matters are concerned," he said.
On Kandi development, the Chief Minister said that
government is working on a project to irrigate parched areas
in Samba district by constructing an irrigation canal.
"My government has decided to spend 10 percent of the
water charges collected from power companies for enhancing
irrigation facilities in the Kandi areas", he said adding that
the state has collected some Rs 500 crore water charges so
far and Rs 50 crore would be used for the construction of
Kandi Canal out of this amount.
The Chief Minister said that the development of
agro-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector is being
encouraged along with the economic activities relating to the
rearing of cattle.
He said state is the highest consumer of mutton and
chicken in the country. "We have greater opportunities of
harnessing this sector", he said, adding imports from
outside the state are showing a gradual decline.
Speaking on the occasion Minister for Finance, Abdul
Rahim Rather highlighted the efficacy of Pubic Service
Guarantee Act in making the service delivery prompt and
reducing the chances of corruption.
He said that Chief Minister has directed for bringing
more public services under ambit of Act, adding clearance of
passport cases & issuance of character certificate by police
department for employment are also being brought under Act.