Rs 717 cr released till March 2014; Rs 598 cr expenditure booked: GOI
Jammu and Ladakh regions have bagged Rs 717 crore “special developmental assistance” out of the state plan during the past three years, on the recommendations of Special Task Forces (STFs) constituted by the government of India following the 2010 summer unrest in Kashmir.
The funds to the two regions were released from J&K’s plan in addition to the normal budgetary share they got along with Kashmir.
In September 2010, when Kashmir was in the middle of the unrest in which 120 youth were killed in action by police and CRPF, the Government of India constituted two STFs, one each for Jammu and Ladakh, for identifying the “special development needs” of these regions.
The STFs recommended Rs 912 crore financial assistance for the two regions out of which Rs 717 crore have been released till March 2014, the Union Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh made the disclosure in the parliament in response to a question by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MP, Tariq Hameed Karra.
An official in the state government said the financial assistance provided to Jammu and Ladakh on the recommendations of the STFs was being sliced from the state’s annual plan.
The official said the State Government had taken up with New Delhi that it should separately provide monetary assistance for meeting the “developmental requirements” of Jammu and Ladakh, identified by the STFs. “But the Centre categorically refused to fund the schemes identified by the Task Forces and instead asked the State Government to fund them from the state plan,” the official said.
He said till the schemes were completed, the funds would have to be provided by the State Government from its annual plan and this assistance was in addition to the monetary assistance the two regions get as their normal share from the state budget.
The Union Minister’s response, a copy of which is in possession of Greater Kashmir, revealed that the Task Force headed by member Planning Commission Abhijit Sen had recommended financial assistance of Rs 496 crore for Jammu while as another Commission member Narendra Jadhav-led Panel had recommended Rs 415 crore funds for Ladakh.
So far Rs 455 crore have been released to Jammu region and Rs 262 crore to Ladakh while as the expenditure booked under different development schemes in the two regions has been Rs 278 crore and Rs 320 crores respectively.
“The STFs were constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs to examine the development needs of Jammu and Ladakh regions respectively,” the Union Minister said in his reply. “Funds for the projects recommended by the STF are being released under Special Plan Assistance.”
Of the Rs 496 crore recommended by the Task Force for Jammu region, Rs 60 crore worth developmental projects were earmarked for Udhampur; Rs 57 crore-projects for Reasi; Rs 39 crore projects for Rajouri; Rs 17 crore projects for Poonch; Rs 53 crore for Kishtwar; Rs 147crore for Jammu; Rs 8 crore for Ramban; Rs 20 crore for Doda and another Rs 93 crore for upgradation of industrial infrastructure in Jammu division and development of Chakrohi seed multiplication farm for Basmati rice.
Likewise, of the Rs 415 crore recommended by the Task Force for 2-district Ladakh region, Rs 226 crore were approved for meeting the developmental requirements of Kargil district in sectors like roads, health, power, education and agriculture and the remaining Rs 189 crore were earmarked for Leh district.