Omar meets Sonia, Dr Singh, Shinde

Seeks Financial Assistance, Exemption From Recovery Of Cost On Central Forces


New Delhi, Jan 31: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had separate meetings with the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde here Thursday in which issues pertaining to the development and prevailing peace situation in Jammu and Kashmir were discussed.
Omar had a meeting with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi here this morning in which various matters concerning development and polity of Jammu and Kashmir were discussed in detail.
An official spokesman said the President All India Congress Committee (AICC) and the Working President J&K National Conference (JKNC) talked about the functioning and status of NC-Congress coalition in the State and expressed satisfaction over it. They also noted with happiness the smooth and tandem functioning of the coalition government in the State.
Omar Abdullah expressed gratitude to the UPA Chairperson for the unprecedented Central financial and logistic support to Jammu and Kashmir Government in its efforts to realize equitable development of all regions and sub-regions of the State and welfare of all sections of the society.
The achievements of the coalition government on peace and development front during last four years were viewed with content and positive note by the two leaders.
Omar Abdullah presented to the PM a resume of achievements registered by the coalition government in various development sectors. He also gave brief about the new initiatives taken for inclusive development, uplift of weaker sections and reaching out to people in remote and far-flung areas for holistic and equitable development. He also discussed issues relating to strengthening of panchayat institutions including those relating to providing honorarium, insurance and security cover to panchs and sarpanchs. The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for his keen interest in the development of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed hope that the Central Government would continue its financial and logistic support to the State Government for realizing development goals and moving ahead on road to peace and prosperity.
“The focus of discussion was also on the release of funds by the Centre Government under various schemes in a time bound manner so that these are utilized within the fiscal year these are earmarked for,” the spokesman said.
Urging strongly for replacing the head of tied special plan assistance by untied special central assistance head, Omar Abdullah highlighted this need as significantly important for the states like Jammu and Kashmir adding that such mechanism is essential to address the development requirements and reach out every area equitably.
Appreciating the Central Government for being liberal in meeting the fund requirement of Jammu and Kashmir for development needs by providing central assistance under various windows like Additional Central Assistance (ACA), Special Central Assistance (SCA) and Special Plan Assistance (SPA), he strongly advocated for removing of various conditions being imposed on lifting of the allocations. “These conditions create constraints”, he said adding that once ACA, SCA and SPA are included as source of funding, it should come to the State without any conditions as the conditions dilute the fiscal policy.
He referred to the recommendation of high level Committee on Efficient Management of Public Expenditure under the Chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan which has said that Plan and Non-Plan distinction of budget restrictions shall be abolished.
Omar Abdullah stressed on upfront release of funds for states like Jammu and Kashmir where working season is very brief. He called for a system of proportionate allocation so that there is no liquidity mismatch in the State.
The Chief Minister emphasized that in case of Jammu and Kashmir-like special category states, the pattern of financing for all centrally sponsored schemes should confirm to the 90:10 pattern. While expressing gratitude for providing Rs. 577 crore by the Centre Government through PMRP for land acquisition for completion of 1344 schemes, he sought another Rs. 800 crore Central assistance for the purpose for completion of approved 1160 schemes. He also advocated for granting cost escalation for strengthening T&D network and construction of Mughal Road. The project for strengthening of T&D network has been revised from Rs. 1351 crore to Rs. 1545 crore while Mughal Road project has been revised from Rs. 639.85 crore to Rs. 766.49 crores.
Omar Abdullah sought re-jigging of PMRP and making flow of funds under PMRP as articulated in the report by the Task Force constituted to prioritize development requirements under the directions of Prime Minister. He sought Rs. 30,000 crore for the Jammu and Srinagar city mobility plan for which M/s RITES has prepared comprehensive plan which include Rapid and Mass Transport (Metro/Mono Rail). He said the amount is beyond the means of Jammu and Kashmir as such the support by the Central Government during the 12th Plan period is essentially required to take up these projects.
The Chief Minister also sought Central assistance of Rs. 1,000 crores to facilitate reducing of 35 years levelized tariff from Rs. 4.48 per KwHr to Rs. 2.83 per KwHr in case of 450 MW Baglihar HEP-II for which TEC has been accorded by the Central Electricity Authority at a cost of Rs. 2113 crores. “The completion cost of BHEP-II is Rs. 3113.19 crore, approved by Board of Directors of SPDC and its financial closure is being finalized in consultation with PFC, REC, J&K Bank, etc,” the spokesman added.
The Chief Minister asked for liberal Central funding for devolution of resources to the panchayats including payment of honorarium to panchs and sarpanchs. He said the historic panchayat elections have raised the expectation of common man in the development share of the State adding that on the part of State Government, transfer of functions, functionaries and funds to Panchayat Raj Institutions is a commitment and beginning has been made by transferring the functions of 14 departments and ensuring flow of funds.
Prime Minister assured the Chief Minister of active consideration of the proposals made by the State Government to various union ministries and said that the Centre Government would continue to support Jammu and Kashmir Government in its efforts to march on road to peace and prosperity.
In his meeting with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Omar discussed various J&K issues pertaining to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The Chief Minister took up the issue of raising 5 IR (Law and Order) Battalions for Jammu and Kashmir Police in lieu of CRPF Battalions to be withdrawn from the State. He also discussed matters pertaining to the sanction for deployment of additional 5,000 posts of Special Police Officers (SPOs) in J&K on permanent basis as also enhancement of honorarium in favour of SPOs from existing Rs 3000 per month to Rs 5000 per month. The proposals in this regard have already been preferred to the MHA by the State Government.
Omar Abdullah sought early approval of MHA for Annual Action Plan for the year 2012-13 under Modernization of J&K State Police Force Scheme involving an expenditure of Rs. 123.11 crore. He emphasized on release of Rs. 30 crore approved by Home Ministry for upgrade of training institutions for the year 2011-12. He asked for additional Rs. 50 crore as second installment for the year 2012-13. These funds are part of a Rs. 280 crore Project relating to upgrade of police training centres in the State.
The Chief Minister sought approval of the detailed proposal submitted by the State Government for the current financial year as revised estimates for the year 2012-13 under Security Related Expenditure (SRE). He urged for exemption of J&K State from recovery of cost of the deployment on account of RAF, CRPF, ITBP etc deployed in Jammu and Kashmir beyond 31.03.2009 up to 30.06.2012 which amounts to Rs. 514 crore.
Omar Abdullah discussed the issue of vacation of premises by security forces and stressed on time bound vacation of these premises by the forces to use these for original purposes.
The Chief Minister took up the matter of withdrawal of CRPF Battalions from law and order / CI Grid of J&K. He underlined the need for extension of benefit of scheme of Ministry of Home Affairs to the NoKs of police personnel killed between May 1999 and March 2001.
The Home Minister assured early sorting out of these pending issues at the MHA level. He also assured all support to the Chief Minister in his mission to restore peace and maintain law and order in the State.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST

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