Stating that “some modalities have been worked out for return of power projects to Jammu & Kashmir”, Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday said “there is no question of compensating the economic losses suffered by the people during 2016 summer unrest.”
“There is no issue of any compensation (for the losses). The curfew was in response to something. Government cannot be accused of (inflicting economic losses),” Drabu said at a press conference here.
A report tabled by J&K Government in the Assembly yesterday said the State suffered a loss of over Rs 16000 crore in the six-month long uprising following the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces on July 7.
Refusing to give any timeline for transfer of power projects from NHPC to J&K, Finance Ministersaid some modalities have been worked out.
“Return of power projects is in the Agenda of Alliance which is the basis of this Government. It is very complicated issue as the projects are owned by NHPC. Some modalities have been worked out.”
In the Agenda of Alliance, the PDP-BJP talks about “exploring modalities for transfer of Dulhasti and Uri hydro power projects to J&K as suggested by the Rangarajan Committee Report and the Round Table reports”.
The Finance Minister said work on hydropower projects in Chenab Valley will start within the next three to six months.
“The Central Electricity Authority has approved these projects and we will start work on them in next three to six months,” he said while responding to a question.
On being asked whether J&K was affected by demonetization, the Finance Minister said, “I don’t think it had any impact because it has been managed very well. I will compliment J&K Bank for that.”
He said people of J&K have got used to certain level of distress “and had stocked up cash due to prevailing uncertainty in the State.”
“When there is uncertainty, people stock up cash,” he said.