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Coming, a special package for J&K

Like Naxal-affected districts, Jammu and Kashmir will also get an elaborate socio-economic package with a two-pronged objective of neutralizing discontent and effective utilisation of funds. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 24, 2009 00:36 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Like Naxal-affected districts, Jammu and Kashmir will also get an elaborate socio-economic package with a two-pronged objective of neutralizing discontent and effective utilisation of funds.

The package comes in the backdrop of the home ministry’s view that more funds are required for development to contain discontentment considering that militancy in the state is losing public support.

A team of secretaries and additional secretaries from 17 ministries led by Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekar will meet senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government on October 5 and 6 to finalise a strategy to contain discontentment over development, which has caused widespread protests in the state.

The team comprising secretaries of ministries like labour and employment, rural development, Planning Commission, tourism, urban development will take a first-hand account of the status of the ongoing centrally-funded schemes, a senior government official, who was not willing to be named as he is not authorized to speak to media, said.

The central government had approved a plan outlay of Rs 6,500 crore for the year 2009-10 in July, which is almost 40 per cent higher than the plan size of the previous year.

Normally, the states plan is increased between 12 to 15 per cent but J&K was given special consideration, after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met the Prime Minister seeking more funds for development.

Over and above the plan outlay, the fund under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) — which aims at improving infrastructure in the state — has also been doubled from Rs 1,012 crore to Rs 2,417 crore for the current fiscal.

This huge increase in allocation comes in the backdrop of National Conference being a key ally of the Congress both at the Centre and in the state and also to contain discontentment over development.

Senior government officials said a team led by Chandrasekhar would firm up plans with the state government on utilisation and better targeting of the addition fund of Rs 2,000 crore granted in the plan for 2009-10.

“Each secretary going with him has been asked to prepare special focus plans for the state which would discussed with state government officials in October,” a secretary level government official, said.