Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a lot of affection for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the Centre would provide all possible help to rebuild the state hit by the devastating floods last year.
"Though this is not the occasion to discuss that, I am with the people of Kashmir in their time of suffering. I understand their suffering. I tell you this with responsibility that when the floods hit Kashmir, the Prime Minister immediately gave a package. You see, disaster takes no time to cause destruction, but rehabilitation takes time.
"The PM has a lot of affection in his heart for Jammu and Kashmir and he is providing whatever help the central government can provide.
"You are our partner, why would we not help you," Heptullah told reporters here.
The union minister avoided queries over the delay in sanctioning of the package proposed by the state government for the rehabilitation of the people affected by the floods which hit the state in September last year.
"I do not think it would be appropriate for me to say anything over that. It does not concern my ministry," she said.
The minister was here to launch three social security schemes, which were simultaneously launched by the Prime Minister in Kolkatta.
The three new schemes are 'Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana', 'Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana' and 'Atal Pension Yojana'.
Heptullah said such schemes were the need of the hour in the country as most of the countries in the world had such schemes.
"Every country in the world has some social security scheme. A housewife does not get any salary or pension and when she turns old, who will help her? What security do divorced women have? There are such problems with the women or the poor people. Those in private sector or government have some gratuity or pension, but what security do labourers or farmers have? So, the pension yojana will benefit them," she said.
The minister said these schemes were for the economic inclusiveness of the people.
"People need accidental security. There are security schemes in America or other countries, but we do not have any here. These schemes are for the economic inclusiveness so that everyone gets equal rights.
"I reiterate this thing regularly that people who feel that PM is with the rich people, the corporate sector…These schemes are not meant for the corporate sector. These are not for use by Ambanis or Adanis, these are for the poor people," she said
The Minister for Finance, Labour Employment and Culture, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu while speaking on the occasion said through these schemes, the government wants to create social security network for the underprivileged and the weaker sections of the society. He said these should not be propagated as schemes but an idea meant to create a sense of social security in the lower and under privileged strata.
Dr. Drabu said these schemes would be efficacious and helpful in fulfilling the socio-economic security needs of each individual of the country and is a good initiative towards providing affordable access to social protection.
Later, the Ministers distributed the insurance certificates and passbooks to the beneficiaries.
Earlier, the chairman J&K Bank, Mr Mushtaq Ahmed gave a brief overview of the new schemes.
Commissioner, Commercial Taxes and State Mission Director of the Schemes, Mr. Zaffar Ahmed Bhat, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Ahmed Lone, senior officers of J&K Bank and state administration were present on the occasion.