The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has decided to implement the National Food Security Act (NFSA), which was passed during the UPA-II regime but kept in abeyance by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who thought it might upset the special status of the state.
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who announced that the Act will be implemented from 1 February 2016, said that it will give subsidised ration to 74.13 lakh persons from the poor and marginalised sections of the society. Wheat will be given at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg.
The opposition National conference, however, criticised the move, saying this would weaken the special status of the state. “This move will weaken the state’s special status. CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is playing at the hands of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,” NC spokesman told the media.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Sub-Committee met in Jammu and decided to implement the recent decision to compensate Pakistani refugees in the Jammu region. “The decision will be implemented in letter and spirit,” CM Mufti told the media. He said that with the help of the Central government all the three regions of the state would be given equal focus and the development works will start yielding results soon.
The PDP-BJP government has also decided to rope in private players for infrastructure projects to be started under the Prime Minister’s package. “We want fast track development and for this purpose we will give contracts to big firms with good financial backgrounds. We want the projects to be completed in time,” Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told the media.
The government said that next year the budget session will start from 18 January. The state Finance Minister said budget will be passed before time to start the development projects at the earliest.
The Mufti Cabinet has also announced Rs 174 crore for the people displaced by Kishenganga Power Project in Bandipora district of North Kashmir. “This issue has been pending for several years because of the lack of concern of the previous state government,” Nirmal Singh said.
In the latest Cabinet meeting, the state government has also sanctioned state-sponsored, social assistance scheme titled “State marriage assistance scheme for poor girls”.
Under this scheme, the eligible girls will get Rs 25,000 and also the money to buy five grams of gold from the Social Welfare Department.
As far as law and order is concerned, the Mufti government has come down heavily on the separatists and many senior Hurriyat leaders have been detained or kept under house arrest.