Centre’s 85 schemes for J&k, normalcy key agenda of inter-ministerial meet (3rd Lead)

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Implementation of Centre’s 85 schemes, including PM-KISAN, PM-KISAN-Pension, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Stand-Up India, as well as steps being taken to return normalcy to the Valley was discussed in a key inter-ministerial meeting in the Home Ministry on Tuesday.

A total of 15 secretaries of various Central government departments participated in the meeting chaired by newly appointed Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

In around two-hour long meeting, the Home Secretary discussed over implementation of 85 people-oriented schemes that also include those related to education, health, skill development, agriculture and employment.

“Meeting held with various departments to assess the implementation of central schemes in J&K and initiatives to be taken to expedite return of normalcy,” said a Home Ministry official.

Sources said it was discussed to implement PM-KISAN, PM-KISAN-Pension, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Stand-Up India schemes in Jammu and Kashmir as the government aims to achieve 100 percent coverage of these schemes, which come under 21 ministries, within one month (by September 30).

A slew of insurances schemes, including the Atal Pension Yojana, has also been introduced in the newly carved Union Territory and the government plans to provide electricity to all the Jammu and Kashmir households.

It was also discussed to implement Prime Minister’s special initiatives, like LPG connection to the poor household and direct benefit transfer (DBT) for LPG and kerosene, focussing to empower women especially in rural areas, in Jammu and Kashmir.

While the PM-KISAN and the PM-KISAN-Pension schemes come under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and the Stand-Up India scheme come under the Ministry of Finance.

The source said the Centre might soon announce opening of government jobs, asking even the paramililtary and army to recruit local people.

The meeting also stressed on the need to expedited rolling out schemes ahead of winter.

As the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the last few decades have been suffering problems due to separatist propaganda and cross-border terrorism, a Home Ministry official said, the government wants to take them out from atmosphere of fear and terror and also impeded socio-economic development in the state.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s feedback on the Jammu and Kashmir situation was also discussed at the meeting, said the source. Doval had shared a feedback with the Home Ministry after visiting the Kashmir Valley.

On the basis of Doval’s feedback and following the visit of a Central team to Jammu and Kashmir, it was decided in he meeting that few more teams will be sent in the region soon on different occasions before October 31, when two newly-created Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one — will come into existence.

Intelligence Bureau Director Arvind Kumar and some officers have also visited Jammu and Kashmir last week.

It is learnt that allocation of funds, a time-bound approach to complete the task and a proper division of works among government officers to be given new responsibilities were discussed in the meeting that started Tuesday afternoon.

Cadre division in Jammu and Kashmir was also part of discussion for the IAS and IPS officers, said a source in know of the facts.

As there are around 5 lakh Jammu and Kashmir government employees in the region, the meeting decided to chalk out a plan how work will be allocated to these officials and how many Central employees will be shifted there.

As key subjects such as law and order will be with the Centre in both the Union Territories, the Home Secretary has asked to scrutinize the aspects and take steps accordingly.

The Home Secretary also took stock of the situation in the Jammu and Kashmir after the scraping of Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

He focussed on expediting works to return back the normalcy in the region which has been facing restrictions since early August 5.

After assuming charge as Home Secretary, this was Bhalla’s first formal meeting on Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was attended by Additional Secretary (J&K Division) Gyanesh Kumar, whose department deals with matters of policy and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Kumar apprised the Home Secretary about the plan and implementation of schemes in both Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories.

–IANS

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