After scrapping special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and security clampdown in the Valley, the government claims to be gradually shifting focus to issues of development in Kashmir.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Tuesday held a high-level meeting with bureaucrats of key ministries at the Centre to chalk out a development plan and reach Central government schemes to all parts of J&K.
Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have asserted that abrogation of special status and bifurcation of the state will usher in development in J&K and help government schemes reach the grassroots level.
Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, passed by Parliament this month, the two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh will come into existence on October 31.
More than 15 secretaries of major Central ministries and departments— Finance, Agriculture, Road Transport, Power, Rural Development and Industries, among others — attended Tuesday’s meeting. “The meeting was held with various departments to assess the implementation of Central schemes in J&K and initiatives to be taken to expedite return of normalcy,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
Development programmes and division of assets and manpower were the key areas of discussion, the official said. The meeting also discussed measures for stocking of essential commodities, particularly in Ladakh region, before the onset of winter, the ministry official added.
A few teams of Central government officials have already visited Srinagar, and some officers at the level of Joint Secretary and Secretary are expected to travel to the Valley in the coming weeks.
The Centre will also assist the J&K administration in implementing 85 development schemes announced by Governor Satya Pal Malik recently, another official said.
The J&K administration has already set up three committees to work on the bifurcation of the state.
The terms of reference of the first committee relate to steps to be taken for transition by various departments.
The second panel will take decisions relating to “realisation and distribution of funds and other related issues” for the two Union Territories. The third will suggest “measures to be taken for providing staff to the UT of Ladakh and any other issues relation to staff of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir”.
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