Srinagar: A presentation on development
needs of Jammu and Kashmir by Omar Abdullah today prompted
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to compliment him for being not
only the "youngest but also the most impressive" Chief
The 40-year-old Omar gave a power-point presentation to
the Prime Minister on the development needs and highlighted
the challenges before the state.
According to participants in the meeting, the Prime
Minister, at the end of the 40-minute presentation, said "I am
complimenting the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister for such a
detailed and comprehensive presentation and he has presented a
well-reasoned out case for developmental needs of the state.
"You are not only the youngest but also the most
impressive Chief Minister," the delegates at the meeting
quoted the Prime Minister as telling Omar, who took over the
reins of the state at the age of 38.
Omar later also had a one-to-one meeting with Singh
during which he raised political, security and human
During the power-point presentation, the Chief Minister
apprised the Prime Minister of the reforms being undertaken by
the state government in the power sector in consultation with
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
He also informed the Prime Minister and the delegation
comprising Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Farooq
Abdullah that elections to Panchayat and other local bodies
will be completed by the year-end.
He told Singh about difficulties in operationalising the
the Rs 24,000 crore Prime Minister`s Reconstruction Plan which
includes 67 projects covering 11 sectors of economy.
The plan includes the projects or schemes aimed at
expanding economic infrastructure and the provision of the
basic services, imparting a thrust to employment and income
generation and providing relief and rehabilitation for the
dislocated persons and families of victims of militancy.
The Prime Minister assured the Chief Minister that he
will consider all issues raised by him.
A state government spokesman quoted the Prime Minister as
saying that the Central Government will do its best to support
the State in its development and added that it is heartening
to note that the State Government has gone in for tariff-based
bids even for hydro projects.
Omar highlighted critical gaps in infrastructure,
emerging challenge in the delivery of public service and
roadmap for putting in place unprecedented reforms in the
power and urban development sectors.
The Prime Minister announced restoration of cuts
amounting to about Rs 400 crores in the State Plan outlay for
2009-10. He also announced the decision of central government
to dispense with the cut on PMRP (Prime Minister`s
Reconstruction Plan) allocations of the previous year.
He also announced three cultural centres for Gujjars,
Bakerwals and Paharis, computer labs in selected schools for
these groups and Self-Help Groups of women belonging to Gujjar
and Bakerwal communities.
The PM also announced additional allocation from Union
Ministry of Tribal Welfare for local community based
volunteers scheme for delivery of Health and Education to
The Prime Minister assured to look into a suitable
mechanism through dialogue process to financially support the
State Government for implementation of 6th Pay Commission
recommendations in regard to payment of arrears.
However, he expressed disappointment over a section of
State Government employees responding to strike calls by
separatist groups and hoped all public servants shall
discharge their public duty in most sincere and dedicated
manner as expected from a public servant.
Lauding the Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia
Gandhi for their positive support to the State for its faster
socio-economic development, Omar mentioned Rs 3000 crore for
PMRP and 13th Finance Commission award of Rs 40,557 crore,
which is almost double of Rs 20,880 crore given by the
On development initiatives, the CM referred to
Sher-i-Kashmir Employment Welfare Programme for youth, J&K
Right to Information Act, 2009, Chief Ministers Grievance
Cell, reconstitution of Accountability Commission,
constitution of Kisan Board and re-energising of State Women
He also mentioned new Pension Scheme, settlement of 21,217
cases through 551 mega and 216 other lok adalats, commitment
of the Government for holding Local Body and Panchayat
elections and Letter of Intent for 690 MW rattle Hydroelectric
Project on tariff based bidding.
Omar said the State registered highest ever plan
expenditure of Rs 5281 crore in 2009-10 and that high level of
expenditure of Rs 732.47 crores has been achieved under PMRP
He said record high provision of Rs 643 crore has been
committed as State share for Central schemes and schemes
worth Rs 700 crores have been implemented under projectised
mode. He said that third party independent monitoring by
NABCONS for 154 projects worth Rs 700 crores has been
Besides Azad and senior Abdullah, the meeting was also
attended by senior state cabinet ministers, Principal
Secretary to Prime Minister T K A Nair, National Security
Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon and Joint Secretary in the PMO