Active Stocks
Fri May 24 2024 15:59:27
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 174.80 -0.37%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 374.85 0.68%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 828.60 -0.45%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 436.10 -1.16%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 318.50 -0.39%
Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Centre clears special flood relief package for Jammu and Kashmir
BackBack

Centre clears special flood relief package for Jammu and Kashmir

Jaitley signals state may get more funds; special team will undertake fresh survey to assess flood damage

(From right) Home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, MoS, PMO, Jitendra Singh and J&K finance minister Haseeb Drabu during a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday to announce a special economic package for the state. Photo: PTIPremium
(From right) Home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, MoS, PMO, Jitendra Singh and J&K finance minister Haseeb Drabu during a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday to announce a special economic package for the state. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Union government on Tuesday announced an additional relief package of 2,437 crore for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood ravaged Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Politically, the special package—an assembly election pledge by Prime Minister Narendra Modi—could strengthen the hands of chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.

The state is ruled by a coalition of Sayeed’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Together with the previous relief package, the total assistance to the state so far is of 5,039 crore.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, finance minister Arun Jaitley signalled that the state could be extended more relief and that a special team will undertake a fresh survey to assess the flood damage.

The team comprising Niti Aayog chief executive Sindhushree Khullar and secretary, expenditure, in the ministry of finance, Ratan Watal, is expected to review the damage caused in particular to infrastructure installations and the setback to tourism—a major industry in Kashmir.

A long-term rehabilitation package will be worked out on the basis of these recommendations.

Addressing the same press conference, which was also attended by the state’s finance minister, Haseeb Drabu, the Union ministers said an amount of 2,602 crore was released to the state last year to take up relief work.

Highlighting the need for extending further help to the people of J&K, especially those who have lost their houses during the floods, home minister Rajnath Singh said, “People should have their own home".

The home minister said the Border Road Organisation has also been given directions to immediately repair the national highway from Jammu to Srinagar.

“In the last one year, there has been significant improvement in the security situation in the state. Strict vigil and surveillance by the state police and security forces has led to a decline in the level of violence. During the current year, the number of terrorist incidents and infiltration attempts has also come down," he added.

2,437 crore will be released this year. We will make a larger development plan," Jaitley added. The finance minister said 1,602 crore was given by the State Disaster Relief Fund and the National Disaster Relief Fund. A total of 1,000 crore was also announced by Modi as a special project assistance when he visited the state last year.

“The central government has a special focus on all-round development of Jammu, Kashmir, Leh and Ladakh and Kargil regions. There has been a popular government after the election in the state and the centre will support it so that it completes its development agenda," he added.

The finance minister also announced that the state would be provided more foodgrain at below poverty line (BPL) prices and that approval would be given for the construction of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, which was badly damaged in the floods. “A total of 75,000 ‘kacha and pakka’ houses, which were damaged, will also be rebuilt under the grant," he added.

Over 300 people were killed and thousands were affected by the September 2014 floods in Kashmir, thought to be the worst in decades.

Political analysts feel that the process of helping the state recover from the floods has been slow, given the fact that more than nine months have passed since the disaster.

“It is good because at least they are starting to provide help. Floods happened in September 2014; nine months is too late. People expect the situation to be better. It should have been the primary objective of the government. Modi had done a marvellous job in Gujarat—the same is expected by the people of J&K, a state which is of strategic importance to the country. Rehabilitation and reconstruction work should have happened faster," said Ellora Puri, a political science professor at Jammu University.

You are on Mint! India's #1 news destination (Source: Press Gazette). To learn more about our business coverage and market insights Click Here!

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Published: 17 Jun 2015, 12:07 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You