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Govt’s 2022 J&K plan: Resettlement of Pandits, 25K jobs, train link

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New Delhi, Feb 13, 2021 –
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the government has decided to resettle all displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the valley by 2022 along with creating 25,000 jobs for the people there and train connectivity to the region.

The Minister said that the government provides Rs 13,000 per month to the families of 44,000 Kashmiri Pandits who have relief cards. “The government also provides free ration and has plans to settle them back in their houses in the Valley by 2022.”

The Home Minister was replying to the discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill of 2021 in the Lok Sabha.

He also allayed apprehensions of the people of Jammu and Kashmir assuring that “no one will lose their land in the Union Territory” as the government has enough land for development work.

“The biggest hurdle in the industry in Jammu and Kashmir was that they did not get land if they wanted to set up any industry there. After the withdrawal of (Art)370, we changed the law of the land. Now the situation is such that the industries will be established inside Kashmir.”

Shah said that 25,000 government jobs will be created for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir by 2022 and that almost 3,000 jobs have already been given in the last 17 months.

The Minister said the 8.45 km Banihal tunnel is planned to be opened this year and that “we are also going to connect the Kashmir Valley with the railways by 2022.”

He stated that Jammu and Kashmir has been the top priority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a lot of development projects have been taken up in the UT.

Elaborating on the development measures taken in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 from the erstwhile state, the Minister said many of J&K residents, who did not receive electricity in the past 70 years, got it in the past seven months.

He said the government wants to make Jammu and Kashmir self-reliant and emphasized that development will reach even the remotest areas.

The Minister said the three families which ruled Jammu and Kashmir for 70 years have done nothing to develop the health sector or provide employment.

He said no major business house would invest in Jammu and Kashmir earlier, but after Article 370 was revoked, many businessmen are investing there.

The government had in August 2019 revoked Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The move had provoked outrage from the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and praise from leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Minister said the Central government has allocated Rs 881 crore from the ministry of health under PMDP (Prime Minister’s Development Package) to Jammu and Kashmir.

Panchayati Raj has been restarted in Jammu and Kashmir after the BJP government came to power. Around 3,650 sarpanches and 33,000 panchs were elected. “Now there will not be a leader from the dynasty of king and queen, the leader will be elected by vote.”

The Minister said the Central government has put nearly Rs 1,500 crore directly into bank accounts which has paved the way for the development of villages in Jammu and Kashmir.

IIT Jammu has started classes on its campus. The construction work of both AIIMS has started. (Agency)

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