The Jammu and Kashmir government has asked the Centre to immediately implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Development of this Himalayan State, and on its part promised that it would start working on a vision document at the earliest.
Finance and Planning Minister Tariq Hameed Karra has welcomed the recommendations and voiced optimism that these would give the much-needed boost to the State economy that is on a growth track.
The State government, Karra said would press for the speedy implementation of the Task Force recommendations so that the State draws the maximum benefit from the same.
The task force headed by former RBI Governor C Rangarajan has recommended Rs 8302 crore package for Jammu and Kashmir- the state reeling in economic distress because of severe damage to the economic infrastructure by militancy in the past 17 years. The report, submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday, has also asked for the transfer of two major power projects Dul Hasti and Bursar to the state.
The task force, Karra said in a statement in Jammu on Sunday , has manifested six critical areas for the economic development, which were identified by the state governments from time to time.
These include; reconstruction and maintenance of the physical infrastructure, investment in infrastructure development in critical areas including power and roads, investment in social infrastructure, creating conducive climate for private investment, ensuring balanced regional development and making comprehensive fiscal adjustment.
Karra felt the task force has rightly identified the power shortage as the critical bottleneck for attracting private investment in the State and has recommended evolving a policy framework to develop the State's hydro power potential.
The Task Force has also strongly called for setting up Special Investment Zone, identifying tourism and horticulture sectors as the engines of growth, modernisation of the State's airports, fast track completion of road and rail projects, launching of employment generation schemes, creation of an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) and enhancing telecom penetration in the State are some of the key areas that need to be worked upon to make the whole exercise purposeful and result-oriented.
“The slew of measures suggested by the Task Force would give the much-needed boost to the State economy that is on a growth track. He said as has been recommended by the Task Force, the State government would follow it up with a vision document outlining the measures for the State's economic development.
“The State and the Central government would work in tandem to implement the recommendations of the Task Force to facilitate the smooth transition of Jammu and Kashmir from turmoil to peace and bring it at par with other states of the country in development and growth.“
E mail Arun Joshi: email@example.com