Jammu, Nov 9: Addressing a citizens reception meeting organized by the National Conference, Jammu Province here on the re-opening of government offices, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah said that the Jammu and Kashmir Kisan Board will be constituted soon to look after the kisan affairs and suggest measures for the welfare of agriculturists in Jammu and Kashmir.
"There are boards and forums for various groups and sections as such a Board for the welfare of kisan is need of the hour. I have announced this Board in a recently held District Development Board meeting and it will be constituted soon", he added.
Omar told the National Conference office bearers and prominent workers that they should prepare themselves for urban local bodies and panchayat elections being held in the State shortly. "Since the current local bodies are completing the term by the beginning of next year as such, the elections to these and panchayat are likely to go side by side", he said and asked the party workers to prepare ground for participating in these elections.
"You should also take into confidence your coalition partners at all levels to fight the elections successfully and to the best interest of the State and the people", he said adding that State has lost an aid of Rs. 700 crore earmarked by the 12th Finance Commission for elected panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir. "Since the Panchayats in the State were not in place as such, this amount could not be utilized", he said and highlighted the need for holding panchayat elections in the State sooner.
Omar said that he will be holding interaction with the party workers at all blocks regularly and earmarked one day in each week to conduct such interaction sessions with the workers in Jammu division. He directed the Provincial President, Ratan Lal Gupta to prepare a calendar and a schedule for such block level interaction sessions. "This will provide me an opportunity to listen to the workers and get first hand appraisals of the development scenario of the area besides the feedback regarding the functioning of the government", he added.
The Chief Minister said that he is presently at such a position where many people would tell him that everything was going smoothly and every step of the government is in right direction, but I want to listen the truth from the people down the line to ascertain the status of government functioning and take action accordingly.
Omar asked the Provincial President to also convene the joint meetings of the workers of coalition partners to discuss the matters of mutual interests and make efforts to address the public difficulties promptly and jointly. He said that the policy plans of the coalition government made at the highest level require equal support of the workers at the grassroots for successful implementation. "You should work together with coalition workers to ensure public benefits", he added.
The Chief Minister said that his government has listed unemployment problem an important one and a policy to address this burning issue is coming on December 5, this year. "So far about five and half lakh youth have registered themselves as unemployed in various Employment Exchanges", he said and added that to provide government employment to all these is not possible but every effort would be made to create job environment for all the unemployed.
Omar said power is the other sector which requires focus for restructuring the system. "How can you run a system where Rs. 2200 crore are being spent to buy electricity and supply it to the people while realizing only Rs. 700 crore fee from them", he said emphasizing reforms to the system. He said many power projects have already been launched both in the State and the Centre sectors and government was keen to improve and upgrade the power generation and distribution in the State. "People have also to cooperate actively in this direction", he stressed.
The National conference Jammu Provincial President, Ratan Lal Gupta welcomed the chief Minister and expressed hope that by the reopening of offices in Jammu development works would get a fillip. He highlighted the major achievements of Omar led government, saying that in last the months people have witnessed significant development on all fronts.
Earlier, legislators from various political parties, traders federation, chamber of commerce and senior citizens also met the Chief Minister and welcomed the Chief Minister.