….. and you call it package

Recall all the election manifestos and election rallies witnessed by the people of J&K in 2014.
….. and you call it package
Representational Pic

Recall all the election manifestos and election rallies witnessed by the people of J&K in 2014. At least one issue was raised by all the political parties across board and that is Flood Relief. Voter turnout as a result of anticipation of a relief package by the government was quite voluminous. Contrary to its ideology and party image, when PDP joined hands with right wing political party BJP, the excuse given to the people of Kashmir in particular was that joining hands with BJP, will help in getting a substantial economic package for the flood affected people of J&K. The loss estimated by the previous Omar Abdullah led government was a whopping Rs. 44,000 crore. PDP after initially mocking the calculation methodology adopted by previous government had to later swallow their ego and support the demand of Rs. 44,000 crore flood relief package. 

After a patchy and controversial first year of governance, there was still no sign of any economic relief from center. Pressure was mounting on PDP from all the corners. Traders,, households, opposition, and general masses everyone was getting disappointed. To add insult to the injuries the regional divide between Jammu and Kashmir started deepening on communal lines. PDP even started facing flak from its own founding members & MPs and Mufti was left alone clueless as to how to handle the situation. 

Left with an inexperienced team of advisors and ministers the state government tried to push hard with New Delhi for an Economic & Political Package. The desperation was piling so much that a poorly conceived quick fix was manufactured and branded as an economic package. The balloon of the much hyped package was deflated. The package has miserably fired back and turning out to flop show. 

The details of the Rs. 80,068 crore economic package announced by Modi was issued by Press Information Bureau of India on 7th of November 2015. As per the details more than 84% of the package that's Rs. 67000 Crore is meant for Infrastructural and ongoing projects. The money will be spent for building strategic roads, bridges and tunnels. Not a single penny of this Rs. 670000 crore will be spent on the Flood Victims. Moreover, projects like these are so huge that none of them is executed by any state based construction company, which means that the capital spent on these projects won't contribute to any job creation or contribution to the domestic economy. The capital is bound to fly outside J&K to the accounts of the companies undertaking these projects.

Another big chunk of the pie i.e. Rs. 11708 crore has been allocated towards Power, New and Renewable Energy. J&K has had a very bad experience of Indian packages towards Power sector. Back in 2004, when the then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh announced Rs 24,000 crore package for J&K – 75% of this package totaling Rs 18000 crore – was actually meant to be spent by the Government of India through National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC). So what did J&K State get? We still have piling power bills eating our state revenues. Whats is there for flood victims in this? 

The third component is that of Security and Welfare of displaced people  which is around Rs. 5263 crore. This includes amounts towards jobs for Kashmiri migrants, rehabilitation of families from Chhamb and PoK, construction of houses, and setting up of five India Reserve Battalions. The India Reserve Battalions will create 4000 jobs for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.  What has flood victims to do with this?

In the entire package an amount of Rs. 7854 Crore or less than 10% of the so called historic package is for flood relief, reconstruction and flood management. Tragically an amount of Rs. 1600 Crore "LOAN" granted by the World Bank to J&K State has also been included in this Rs. 7854 crore package. A careful comprehension of the head reveals that the entire amount is not meant for distribution among households or traders, however, more than 60% of the this Rs. 7854 crore is meant for flood management of the River Jhelum & River Tawi and its tributaries. 

All that has been earmarked for flood victims is around Rs. 3000 Crore which is not even 4% of the total package. The package of Rs. 3000 crore that we are left with will be distributed among Jammu as well as Kashmir based flooded households. In addition to this trader community will also have to share a pie from this Rs. 3000 crore only. 

The dissection of this package reveals that against an estimated loss of Rs. 44,000.00 crore, PDP has been able to fetch a menial amount of Rs. 3000 Crore only. 

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