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Nirmala Sitharaman says terror incidents down in Valley, Oppn disagrees

Sitharaman said, “Assembly elections can only be held after the process of delimitation is completed and the decision to hold elections lies with the EC.”

Written by Karishma Mehrotra | New Delhi |
March 19, 2021 1:27:22 am
The government raised the deposit threshold limit in the provident fund to Rs 5 lakh per year on Tuesday, with interest remaining tax-free. This would apply in cases where the employer does not contribute to the retirement fund. (file)

Introducing the Demand for Grants for Jammu and Kashmir, which was passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the estimated expenditure and revenue for the Union Territory has increased.

The minister said schemes are reaching every community in the region. “DDC elections were held and they were treated almost as a referendum. It proved the faith of the people in the democratic institutions. Fifty-one per cent of people voted.” She added that terrorism-linked incidents have decreased.

Addressing questions on when J&K would be made a state again, Sitharaman said, “Assembly elections can only be held after the process of delimitation is completed and the decision to hold elections lies with the EC.”

Earlier, Congress MP Anumula Revanth Reddy said the government has “not used heart or brains” in the budget allocation. He said budget estimates for 2020 and the revised estimates were the same as the budget estimates of 2021, “meaning for two years, this government has no intention to give Kashmir more money”. “Since it became a Union Territory in August 2019, till now the atmosphere has not become better,” Reddy said.

Trinamool Congress MP Sougata Ray said the peace Modi promised to bring to Kashmir has not come, that militancy still continues. “I say restore the assembly in Kashmir, give people their rights back and make it a state again … Tourism has not been restored… terrorism is there.”

NC MP from Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi said the Finance Minister knows the “misadventure” of August 5, 2019 did not work.

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