Sadhotra pitches for enhanced fund flow to J&K

Excelsior Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Feb 24: Expressing gratitude to Centre for enhanced plan outlay to the State, Minister for Planning, Labour & Employment, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra said this will ensure increased development and growth, all the more needed given the difficult situation J&K has passed through during the past over two decades.
During a meeting with Member of Planning Commission B K Chaturvedi, the Minister discussed the overall developmental profile and status of various Centrally sponsored projects in the State.
He also deliberated upon issues pertaining to the resource position against the approved outlay and receipts from the Centre under various components as also under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP). In view of cost escalation, he pleaded enhancement in the allocations particularly for giving fillip to T&D network project and completion of historic Mughal Road project.
Mr Sadhotra referred to the report submitted to Prime Minister during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir in 2009 and said this requires special consideration for achieving the agenda of overall development of the State.
The Minister prioritized the city mobility plan and said that State Government has prepared a blue print which is estimated to involve Rs 30, 000 crore. He said RITES has prepared a comprehensive plan, which included Rapid and Mass Transport (Metro/Mono Rail) services in the State. Since such a whopping funding is beyond the resources of the State, the support of Centre has become imperative, he said.
Mr. Sadhotra sought timely release of Central funds for various schemes so that these are utilized within the stipulated time frame as the working season in the State was very brief. He advocated removal of various conditions being imposed on lifting of the allocations as these will create more constraints than solving the problems.
He said that since Jammu and Kashmir was a special category State and its financial condition were very weak; the pattern of all Centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) should conform to the 90-10 pattern as it is being done in the North East States.
Mr. Sadhotra strongly urged that our State being a special category State, tied Special Plan Assistance (SPA), be replaced with untied Special Central Assistance (SCA). He also referred to the requirement of Rs 800 crore for acquisition of land for implementing 1160 schemes under PMGSY.
Mr Sadhotra also emphasized the need for sanctioning special assistance of Rs 1000 crore for financial closure of Baghliar Phase -II to facilitate reducing the tariff from Rs 4.48 per KWhr to Rs 2.83 KWphr over and above the normal plan.

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