JK CM reiterates commitment for political solution
New Delhi/Srinagar, October 22 (Scoop News) - Pitching for transforming
Addressing National Development Council (NDC) at
“In very brief terms, the State needs to be transformed from a ‘securitized’ narrative to a political one. This requires widening of the dialogue process – both internal as well as external”, he maintained and said that the appointment of Interlocutors was a very welcome step.
“At the same time, the long term and permanent solution to the Kashmir issue is likely to emerge by an active engagement with
The Chief Minister reiterated the resolve of his Government to pursue the development agenda in the most inclusive and participatory manner. “As we undertake to seek political solution of our grievances and aspirations, we hope the initiatives under the Twelfth Plan will help us in the realization of the defined economic goals”, he said.
Omar Abdullah said that with the perceptible improvement in the overall situation, the development is increasingly being seen as a vital entry point for consolidating peace dividends. “The outlook today is that of a hopeful optimism. While there is positive appreciation of the need of dialogue and reconciliation, imperatives of equitable development and good governance have come to occupy an important place in public discourse in Jammu and Kashmir”, he said adding that heavy turnout in the historic Panchayat elections conducted in the State after a long period is an unequivocal demonstration of the yearning for peace and development.
“The explosion of people’s expectations has placed onerous responsibility on all of us to deliver on the promise of development, for providing an enabling environment particularly to young-persons to realize their potential to the fullest”, he said terming the story relating to growth performance positive in the State. “We have been able to record an average growth in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of the order of 6.48 percent and the level of Capital Expenditure during the current fiscal is around Rs. 8,000 crores”, he said.
Stating that the impetus to the development process would not have been possible without the support of the Union Government, the Chief Minister expressed gratitude to Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi for extending liberal financial assistance to the State in its efforts to deepen and widen the development process for re-building the economy ravaged by long years of insurgency. He also expressed thankfulness to the Planning Commission of India and Union Ministry of Finance for giving fully funded Plans over the 11th Five Year Plan period. “The funding support has been much above our normal entitlements”, he said.
Emphasizing that moderate sized but fully funded plan is better than a large but partly funded one, the Chief Minister advocated that in case of special category State’s Union Government should ensure full financing of the annual plans over the Five Year Plan period, by under writing a critical minimum level of resource support. “The northern and hilly States must be given special incentives for construction of the green cover and water resources that have a larger bearing on the distinct and fragile eco-system. We also look to the Centre for help for power development”, he added.
On sustained development effort, Omar Abdullah said that it must be driven by the partnership between government and people, factor voices and concerns of poor and marginalized, be gender sensitive, demonstrate respect for environment and address aspirations of youth. “We are committed to build our plan efforts on these principals”, he said adding that in respect of States like Jammu and Kashmir which are heavily dependent on the Centre Government, certain broad principals must be followed to attain the mandated outcomes.
On channelizing youth energy in positive direction, the Chief Minister highlighted the need for integrating the dynamism, creativity and power of youth, and providing legitimate space to them in the development landscape. He stressed on the participation of Jammu and Kashmir youth in sunrise areas ranging from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and software to airlines-banking-hotels, etc. Omar sought Central help in developing model curriculum in education and creating a system to inculcate the required skill in youth to prepare them to participate in the competitive markets of the contemporary times.
On institutional revival and empowerment, the Chief Minister said that State Government has put in place Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency (JKeGA) to expedite the process of implementation of comprehensive e-governance and bring in transparency in dealings making government functionaries accountable and fast in response. He said 700 service centres branded as Khidmat Centres have been established in the State to bring public services to citizens through electronic media.
The Chief Minister said that his Government is working hard to reverse the tendency towards concentrating powers in impersonal and unaccountable institutions. “We recognize that for the development to be locally meaningful, power needs to be returned to the people and the communities through the creation of member-accountable institutions thereby strengthening local control and ownership”, he said elaborating that Panchayat elections are a step forward in this direction.
Omar said that Panchayats in the State will be made functional at all the three levels within next few months. He said the government was also gearing up to hold elections to the urban local bodies. He said urban local bodies elections would be held during the current financial year so as to make decentralization and empowerment a reality.
“We are committed that, hence forward, the genetic code of State Planning will inhere in these grass root institutions and planning for locality will be substituted with planning by the locality”, he said adding that a vibrant and comprehensive J&K Right to Information Act has been put in place for a practical regime for securing information by citizens from the public authority and to promote transparency and accountability in the working of all public institutions. He said State Accountability Commission has also been re-energized so that it acts as a strong deterrent against corruption. He said Public Service Guarantee Act has also been enacted and is in operation to give rights to the people to obtain public service from the government departments within the prescribed timeframe.
Omar Abdullah also highlighted the capacity building in the administration and programming of civil service to make the government functionaries capable of obtaining best results out of the development plans. He also dwelt with the flagship programmes of Sarav Shiksha Abhiyaan, National Rural Health Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Rajibv Gandhi Grameen Viduti Karan Yojana and other centrally sponsored schemes and sought local specified approach in implementation of these schemes to make them broad based and more effective in the States like Jammu and Kashmir which inherent constraints like remoteness, increased transportation cost, poor connectivity, lack of private investment and unemployment.
On the power development, the Chief Minister termed it key driver of economy and said that heavy emphasis is being laid for setting up of hydel projects in the State. He said State proposes to generate around 5000 MWs of hydro power during the 12th Plan period. He sought massive financial support from New Delhi in this stupendous task and stressed on early completion of Srinagar-Leh Transmission Line.
Referring to the recommendations of Working Group on Economic Development, Omar Abdullah emphasized on transfer of 390 MWs Dulhasti Hydro Electro Power Project to the State. He also urged for a holistic view on the transfer of power projects set up by NHPC over the years to the State which has become a matter of wide-ranging public debate. Omar Abdullah also requested the Centre Government for the funding of Baglihar-II project.
Declaring physical connectivity as a fundamental requirement for participative economy and inclusive growth, the Chief Minister underlined the importance of dependable road, rail and air systems. “Unfortunately we have one of the poorest road connectivity in the Country which jeopardizes the normal life in the extreme weather conditions”, he said highlighting the importance of transforming Srinagar Airport into International Airport in letter and spirit. He said that the Srinagar Airport should be converted exclusively into a civilian airport so that Haj and other international flights are operated from here regularly. “We also want expedite work on railway project and construction of 4-lane National Highway.
The Chief Minister also talked about the development of agriculture and allied sectors and revival of handicraft activities in the State which assure massive employment for the people. He also spoke about the development of tourism and its employment potential. He referred to the State’s initiative regarding employment generation and underlined the efficacy of SKEWPY in this direction. He said a policy aimed at covering lakh youth under various employment generating programmes has been initiated in the State and first ever credible database regarding unemployment youth-qualification and gender wise has been established.
Omar Abdullah said that while the Nation was embarking on a greater development programme, J&K was facing the difficult and complex situation, therefore private investment bypassed Jammu and Kashmir. He said when other States were receiving foreign direct investment, J&K was facing challenges of foreign direct interference.
Omar Abdullah made strong pitch for widening of Boarder Area Development Programme to benefit people in border villages. He also highlighted importance of dry land agriculture and waste land development and sought special funding for kandi area development programme. “The kandi areas in Jammu and Kashmir are spread from Kathua to Kupwara”, he said. The Chief Minister also emphasises the need for covering all the centrally sponsored schemes under 90:10 ratio elaborating that States like Jammu and Kashmir should receive 90 percent central funds for all the centrally sponsored schemes.
Tags: JK CM , Pakistan , Dialogue
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.