Governor Lt General (Retd) SK Sinha on Monday said that "the decision of the government to pass the budget before the beginning of new financial year will help in maximising the working season to ensure better utilisation of development funds here in Jammu and Kashmir."
"It is my fond hope that this Session turns out to be harbinger of a new era in the development of the state. Under the guidance of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the coalition government is on course to fulfill the commitments made in the Common Minimum Programme and to achieve the goal of Khushaal Jammu and Kashmir," said Governor while addressing the joint session of the state legislature - first time in the month of January.
Governor Lt Gen (Retd) SK Sinha also appreciated the historic initiatives taken by the Prime Minister to solve Kashmir problem by addressing to its internal and external dimensions and asserted that "his government supports more road linkages to facilitate trade and movement of people between the two sides further confidence building measures with Pakistan to have."
Governor said the state government had always supported the process of dialogue with different groups within the state and between our country and Pakistan. In his hour-long speech, he also made a mention of what he described as unimaginable happening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot bus services during the four years of coalition government in the state. He also highlighted the measures being taken for ensuring development of the three regions, achievements registered and initiatives taken to restore peace and normalcy in the State.
Governor further said, the initiatives by the Prime Minister to involve all political parties and different sections of people in three regions of the state in a dialogue process through a series of Round Table Conferences are laudable. He expressed satisfaction over 11 meetings of working groups set up during the second RTC in Srinagar on May 2 last year to recommend measures for addressing legitimate aspirations of the people, be it the Centre-State relations, the CBMs across the LoC and within the state, good governance or economic development and hoped that their recommendations would receive the highest of considerations for implementation in right earnest.
"The year 2006 witnessed a decline of 16 per cent in the number of terrorist incidents and the lowest ever 28 per cent in the civilian killings since the eruption of terrorism," said Lt Gen (Retd) SK Sinha further complimenting the security forces for commendable job in combating terrorist violence and expressed gratitude to the people for the supreme sacrifice of 151 officers and men.
About fulfilling the long standing demand pertaining to the implementation of Wazir Commission report, the Governor made a mention of the historic decision of creating 8 new districts, 3 new sub-divisions and 12 new Tehsils and said a committee for demarcation of geographical boundaries of the new units has since been constituted.
"The government proposes to introduce a Bill in the legislature for increasing the number of constituencies by 25 per cent to strengthen its representative structure and fulfilling developmental and democratic aspirations of the people especially those living in remote areas," he said.
"A concerted drive has been launched to improve work culture and usher in good governance," said Governor adding that "the properties of several public servants acquired through corrupt practices were attached and several officials compulsorily retired for poor performance and want of integrity. While tackling the menace of corruption, the genuine demands of the employees were fulfilled and increase in Move TA, Temporary Move TA, Medical Allowance for all categories of employees and rates of Compensatory Allowance for the employees posted in far flung and border areas ordered."
On Human Rights issue, Governor S K Sinha said, "chief minister has been repeatedly articulating on the protection of human rights. I am happy to inform you that the results have been very encouraging.
Even the allegations of custodial deaths and disappearances have progressively declined during the past four years. In line with the coalition government's policy to bring the wayward youth into the mainstream, 51 detainees not involved in heinous crimes were released from jails during 2006 on the recommendations of the screening committee."
Email Zorawar Jamwal: firstname.lastname@example.org