Jammu: Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday stated that the metro rail project in J&K would be approved by next week while the LPG gas pipeline for the UT was also being taken as national priority by the Centre.
With regard to demand to bring petrol and diesel under GST, Puri stated that it could not be done during the last GST Council presided over by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as the state governments did not agree to it.
“Our constitution is a federal constitution. The GST Council should work on consensus. There are two taxes which no state government wants to abolish and those two taxes relate to diesel/petrol and liquor. You’re telling me that the central government should take a call. I’m willing to take a call. But do I have the central provision to take a call on behalf of the states?” he averred while responding to a query pertaining to double taxation. Puri was addressing media persons on the last leg of his J&K tour.
Puri said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Development model emphasised that the benefits of every centrally sponsored scheme should reach directly to the beneficiaries be that of the Ujjwala Yojana, Ayushman Bharat, PM Awas Yojana or others.
Later, he e-inaugurated and laid e-foundation stones of many development projects of Jammu city at Convention Centre, Jammu.
Praising the Prime Minister for his steps taken vis-a-vis Swachhta Abhiyan in the country, Puri said that the PM had emphasised from the ramparts of Red Fort in 2014 that it would be a great tribute to the Father of Nation if India becomes Open Defecation Free (ODF) on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. He said that the success behind implementation of Swachhta Abhiyan in almost every part of the country was that the programme was not restricted to only government quarters but was made a ‘Jan Andolan’ under PM Sh. Narendra Modi.
He said that there was no compromise on the development agenda and timelines were set before for the completion of projects like the deadline for Central Vista Project had been set which would be completed before January 26, 2022. He also mentioned that the projects were being completed before their deadlines under the current government.
Saying that many schemes under the present government were reaching their saturation points, the Minister said that under PM Ujjwala Yojana 1.0, eight crore LPG connections were provided to the beneficiaries. He also said that timely implementation of all schemes has been stressed by this Government.
The minister also said that after the abrogation of Article 370, the development projects that were languishing from years in J&K were taken up and many have been completed in these years. He further mentioned that the development paradigms now changed in J&K which was evident from the fact that the development works achieved a pace under the new administration and were now completed within a timeline in J&K.
On the occasion, the Minister distributed assistance to beneficiaries under various government schemes – PMAY, MUMKIN, Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), PM Ujjwala and PM Svanidhi (Street Vendor Card Distribution).
Puri also e-inaugurated 800 LPM Oxygen Generation Plant at Government Hospital, Sarwal, Jammu, Integrated Solid Waste Management System in 78 ULBs, Façade Lighting & Illumination of Bahu Fort, 164 KLD Septage Treatment Plant at Bhagwati Nagar, Revamping of Urban Infrastructure in 76 ULBs. The Minister also laid e-foundation stone of Facade Lighting at four Tawi Bridges &Construction of R.C.C Nallah & Development of Park (phase-II) in lower Roop Nagar.
Earlier, the Union Minister chaired a meeting to review the implementation of flagship schemes and initiatives taken by the Housing and Urban development Department for implementation of these schemes.