Sayeed advocates combining state, central plan funds

Jammu, June 24 (IANS) To overcome financial constraints, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Wednesday suggested dovetailing of central and state plan schemes in the state.

Chairing the development board meetings of Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu region, he advocated this process to execute projects fraught with financial constraints.

He said the government has also reserved a one-third component within the Capital Expenditure Plans to defray huge liabilities in a phased manner, which have been inherited from the previous governments.

A Rs.197.94 crore annual plan for Rajouri and Rs.173.16 crore for Poonch district was approved at the meeting.

Sayeed noted that in the past few years, the state has been found wanting in effective implementation of centrally-sponsored schemes, thus depriving people of the envisaged benefits, but by blending the central scheme allocation of fRs. 6,000 crore with Rs.3,100 crore of the capital plans, the districts have been granted enough financial resources to create durable assets and ensure that every penny is utilized in creating basic amenities.

The new structured scheme of financing district plans will help in completion of unfinished projects, he said.

Referring to the empowerment of people at the grassroots level, Sayeed indicated holding of civic body elections later this year.

He said dilly-dallying over holding of elections by the previous government blocked a Rs.1,500 crores central package, which would have gone a long way in developing towns in remote districts under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium Towns and IHSDP.

Expressing concern over critical condition of certain stretches on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, he sanctioned Rs.10 crore for maintenance ofthe Mughal Road so that it can be used as alternate connection.

He also called upon Border Roads Organization (BRO) to improve the critical stretch from Thanamandi to Buffliaz on the Mughal Road.

Referring to the huge potential of Rajouri and Poonch districts in heritage and leisure tourism, the chief minister directed the tourism department to focus on creation of wayside amenities at different locations.

He also issued directions to director, tourism to take up development of Krishan Chander Park at Poonch.

Referring to the cross-LoC trade and travel, Sayeed said he has taken up the issue of starting banking and telecom facilities at Chakan da Bagh in Poonch and and Salamabad in Baramulla with the home and external affairs ministries so that it is discussed in the Joint Working Group meeting between India and Pakistan.

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