Govt readies huge development package for J&K
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may soon announce a development package for Jammu and Kashmir that may be to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore covering areas like tourism, power, health, water resources and infrastructure development.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may soon announce a development package for Jammu and Kashmir that may be to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore covering areas like tourism, power, health, water resources and infrastructure development.
The Finance Ministry is working on the package with close supervision of the Prime Minister's Office, a senior government official said.
The move comes after a central team, comprising officials of ministries of Finance, Home, Road Transport, Health, Tourism and Niti Aayug visited Jammu and Kashmir on June 24.
The package will be given for projects to boost tourism, skill development, improving facilities in health, education sectors and to be completed in five years.
The package is still being worked out to be ready in time of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned visit to Jammu later this week.
Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will visit Jammu on July 17 to attend the centenary celebrations of former state Finance Minister Girdhari Lal Dogra.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has already placed a demand for Rs 44,000 crore package for rehabilitation of flood affected people of last year. The fresh package will cover everything.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has been pressing for such a financial package ever since the PDP-BJP government came to power.
The package will be higher than the one announced by the UPA government in 2004 under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Package when it announced Rs 24,000 crore (revised later to Rs 36,265 crore) for the state.
The projects will also include a medical institute, affiliated to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in Anantnag, an Indian Institute of Technology each in Jammu and in Kashmir, and an Indian Institute of Management in Jammu.
Last month, the government had announced a flood rehabilitation package of Rs 2,437 crore taking the Centre's assistance over the past year to Rs 5,039 crore.
The common minimum programme of the PDP-BJP government says that Srinagar and Jammu will see major urban development projects and satellite "smart cities" called "New Srinagar" and "New Jammu".
During a visit to Leh in August 2014, Modi had announced a central assistance of Rs 8,000 crore for four major road projects and wrote off a Food Corporation of India debt of Rs 60 crore.
A separate Rs 2,000 crore package for the rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits is also being worked out by the Home Ministry.
"Work is on for placing the proposal before the Union Cabinet," a source said.