Economic security programme for Kashmiri migrants: Omar

Srinagar, May 07 (Scoop News) –On return of Kashmiri Pandits, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday said that along with creating sense of security among Kashmiri Pandits for their return to the Valley, which has shown significant positivity, the government has put in place economic security programme for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. “Under the employment package they are being provided job opportunities in the Valley and we have been successful to a greater extent in implementing the employment package”, he said adding that the State Government has taken up issue of enhancing assistance for construction of houses for Kashmiri migrant families from Rs. 7 lakhs to Rs. 20 lakh with the Centre Government so that they can construct their houses easily.



            Addressing a press conference on the opening of offices at Srinagar after annual darbar move, the Chief Minister said that the development process unleashed by the State Government in the State during the last three years would continue with added thrust.

            “Our endeavour is to mitigate difficulties of people and ensure equitable development of all areas and sections of the society. We would continue to devote wholeheartedly to achieve this goal”, he said adding that harmony and amity in the society would be further strengthened.

            On empowerment of panchayats, Omar Abdullah said that the holding of panchayat elections was no doubt the success of the government to reintroduce panchayat system in the State after the lapse of over 30 years. “I disagree with those who create doubts regarding transfer of powers to these grass root democratic units. During my interaction with panches and sarpanches all across the State, I had said that the transfer of powers to these units would not be painless. A new generation of politicians has emerged during this period and working in the new set up has to be harmonized”, he said adding that various powers have already been transferred to panchayats and more are being transferred soon. He said constitution of block and district panchayat bodies are also in the pipeline and during next six months there will be significant forward movement in transfer of powers to the panchayats.

            On AFSPA Omar Abdullah said that significant progress has taken place on the issue of revocation of AFSPA from certain areas of the State. However, he said, the final mile is yet to be crossed. “There were two ways for us to move forward on the subject – one to remain silent and the other to put the issue in public debate. We worked on the first but when it did not yield the result, we shifted to the public discussions and debate on the issue. The discussion is going on in New Delhi at both political and operational levels. We will continue to work for it”, he said expressing the hope that there will be positive forward movement in this regard in near future.

            On Amarnath Ji yatra, Omar Abdullah said that the Shrine Board has to issue the date for yatra and register the yatris. He said that government will provide all facilities for the successful conduct of yatra. “We have requested the Shrine Board for medical checkup of yatris so that their health condition remains sound during the yatra time”, he said and added that the number of yatris visiting Amarnath Ji yatra can be ascertained when the registration is completed.

            On Local Body elections, the Chief Minister said that local bodies’ elections would be conducted during the year 2012 by all means. He said that he wanted to get these elections conducted as early as possible but due to early start of tourist season this year, the decision on this issue was delayed. “In the next first or second Cabinet meeting the final decision in this regard would be taken”, he said adding that holding of these elections is all the more important to move forward on urban reforms and obtain financial assistance under JNNURM and other Centrally aided schemes for the development of cities and towns.

Underscoring the importance of addressing internal and external dimensions of Jammu and Kashmir State’s political issues, Omar Abdullah Monday expressed the hope that the dialogue process restarted between India and Pakistan in the last month would continue further.

            “My government would facilitate at all levels in this direction”, he said emphasizing the need for positive movement by the Centre Government in this direction so that both the internal and external dimensions of the issue are focused.