MHA sets deadline of Nov 30 for PoJK, March 31 for WP refugees’ relief

‘Fulfill formalities for free flow of funds’

High-level delegation reviews PMDP

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 10: A high-level delegation of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs deputed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP) with top officers of concerned Departments of Jammu and Kashmir, which were executing projects under Rs 80,068 crore worth Plan approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015.
MHA Additional Secretary Gyanesh Kumar and Manish Garg, Joint Secretary along with other officials reviewed progress of projects being executed in all three regions of the State under PMDP and called for meeting timeline as some of the projects were missing, or were scheduled to miss, the deadlines, leading to their cost escalation.
Top officials of the State administration attended the meeting.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the MHA has fixed November 30 deadline for disbursement of Rs 5.5 lakh worth compensation to all refugees of Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) and March 31, 2019 timeline for completing disbursement of relief to West Pakistani refugees.
They directed the State Government officials to ensure that cases of all remaining PoJK refugees are processed immediately and relief is disbursed among them by November 30. The process for distribution of relief among the PoJK refugees has already been delayed; they pointed out and called upon the officials to strictly stick to November 30 deadlines.
“The MHA delegation directed that disbursement of Rs 5.5 lakh package per family among 5764 total families should start immediately and all of them must get relief by March 31, 2019,” sources said.
Package to PoJK refugees, which was long pending demand of the families who had migrated to Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 and was ignored by successive Central Governments, was part of Modi’s PMDP with Rs 2000 crore reserved for it. However, relief package for West Pakistani refugees was approved by the Union Home Ministry in June this year during Rajnath Singh’s visit to the State.
“While majority of PoJK refugees and Chhamb migrants, who were also sanctioned relief, have been covered, the MHA has directed the authorities to ensure 100 per cent coverage by the month end and take all steps to expedite disbursement of package to West Pakistani refugees to ensure that it’s disbursement is also completed by March 31, 2019,” sources said.
It may be mentioned here that the State Government had to finalize the cases and relief amount is debited into the accounts of beneficiaries by the MHA under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme.
The MHA team stressed on timely completion of ongoing projects to ensure that they don’t miss the timeline, leading to cost escalation as already Rs 80,068 crore worth PMDP has crossed Rs one lakh crore due to delay in execution of some of the projects.
Sources pointed out, it was not only the Jammu and Kashmir Government whose projects were missing timelines but even major projects, which have been undertaken by the Central Government Corporations and Departments in the Central sector, were also getting delayed.
Top officers of the Central Corporations like National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC), National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) and other companies, which were executing power projects, have already been directed by the MHA to accelerate the projects.
They said the cost of major projects like under-construction and upcoming National Highways and roads, power projects etc has gone up drastically during the last two years prompting the Centre Government to revise cost of the PMDP and increase it to facilitate construction of the approved projects.
Not ruling out more increase in cost of the projects, sources pointed out that delay in start of two All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-one each in Jammu and Kashmir, Smart Cities for Jammu and Srinagar and some other mega Projects could further increase cost of the PMDP.
An official handout issued by the State Government said: Sequel to Union Home Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on October 23, 2018, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Gyanesh Kumar held review meeting with the senior officers of the State Government here today and took stock of the implementation of Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
Financial Commissioner, Housing & Urban Development Department, K B Aggarwal, Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, Principal Secretary Home, R K Goyal, Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring, Rohit Kansal, Commissioner/Secretary Higher Education, Sarita Chauhan, Commissioner/Secretary PWD (R&B), Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, Secretary Rural Development Department, Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Youth Services & Sports & Information, Sarmad Hafeez, Chief Executive Officer, ERA, Dr. Raghav Langer, Director General Planning, Satvir Kour and other senior officers of departments involved in the implementation of PMDP in the State, attended the meeting.
Reiterating the commitment of the Government of India for fast-track development of Jammu and Kashmir, Gyanesh Kumar said that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Home Minister, Rajnath Singh are personally keen for the development of the State and are constantly monitoring the Rs. 80,068 crore special PMDP package that was announced by the PM in the year 2015 for the development of the State.
He called upon the Administrative Secretaries to pay special attention to the implementation of this special package and ensure time bound completion of the projects which have been taken in hands.
Stressing the need for constant monitoring of projects at the State level, the Additional Secretary called for flagging each project, clearing bottlenecks, if any with coordinated approach by each department/agency to achieve tangible results on ground. He said the PMDP is envisaged to be implemented in time span of five years and asked the officers to give utmost attention to each on-going project and sanctioning all proposed projects under the programme so that the constant flow of funds is maintained by the Centre.
He said the Centre is committed to fulfill its commitment to ensure free flow of funds provided the State Government fulfills the requisite formalities for sanctioning the projects and achieving the progress.
The projects which were prominently highlighted included, construction of two AIIMS, IIMs, power projects, construction of Jammu-Akhnoor Highway, construction of sports infrastructure, progress under Skill Development Programme, tourism promotion, conservation and beautification of water bodies, horticulture. It was emphasized to give utmost attention to these projects to ensure their time bound completion.
Rohit Kansal while giving overview of the PMDP-2015, informed that as many as 16 ministries are involved in the implementation of 63 projects sanctioned under this special package at a cost of Rs. 66,298 crore, out of which Rs. 27,857 crore have been released and Rs. 23,948 crore utilized till date, besides Rs. 2474 crore have been provided by the State Government as State share for these projects. He informed that work on 44 projects is apace and 8 projects have been substantially completed.
Sharing the progress on major projects including, two AIIMS and IIMs, Kansal apprised that majority of components which are being looked after by the State Government like acquisition of land, construction of approach road, creating water sources have been cleared. All other projects have been duly flagged and their progress is being monitored regularly at the State level to accomplish them in time line. He assured to accomplish the targets as per time schedule.