Second batch of ministers to visit J-K in April
The Centre plans to send 40 ministers to Jammu & Kashmir in April for another outreach following the nullification of the Constitution’s Article 370 that stripped the erstwhile state of its special status in August, officials aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
The second such outreach since January after Parliament’s Budget session ends in April is being planned as the Centre and the Jammu & Kashmir administration are finalising a new domicile policy for the region to protect employment for locals and restrict the sale of land to outsiders.
There have been concerns over land rights and jobs in Jammu & Kashmir following the end to the special status that ensured non-residents could not buy land or get government jobs in the erstwhile state
States like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh protect employment for locals and restrict the sale of land to outsiders.
“The policy is almost ready. Final consultations are on and we hope to finish it very soon,” one of the officials cited above said.
“Protection of employment and land rights are very important and will reassure the people,” they added.
As many as 37 Union ministers visited Jammu & Kashmir in January, spent two nights each at district headquarters and interacted with people.
The officials said the ministers have submitted a report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the Union home ministry, detailing the progress of the developmental projects and offered suggestions about how to ensure more efficiency.
The second round of the outreach is expected to be on the same lines. “The reasons are much the same: reach out to the people, monitor the progress of the central developmental schemes and also assure people that the Centre has the best interest of the people in mind,” a second official said.
The ministers will also review the law and order situation in Jammu & Kashmir, where Panchayat by-polls scheduled to be held in March were deferred this week because of security reasons and fears of violence.
The government also plans to hold in April the first-ever investors’ summit in the Union Territory to attract investments.