Discriminatory laws were removed from J&K: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that after the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, as many as 890 Central laws have become applicable, giving the people of J&K what was denied to them in the last 70 years.

Speaking at the debate on Budget 2022-23 for J&K in the Lok Sabha, she said that what B.R. Ambedkar gave to the SC/ST communities is now available to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“This country cannot have two symbols, two Prime Ministers or two Constitutions. We have a Constitution which we respect… And every time we discuss the people who gave us the Constitution, we all respectfully raise the name of Ambedkar,” she said.

She further said that a total of 1,198 startups have been registered in J&K while more than 200 startups have been funded till date.

“Rs 143 crore was given to the MSME units in J&K under Emergency Credit Guarantee Scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic,” she stated.

Responding to questions raised by MPs on the employment situation in J&K, Sitharaman said, “As per CMIE, which monitors the Indian economy, the unemployment rate has come down. In 2016 it was 20 per cent, and by late February this year it came down to 13.2 per cent.”

Earlier, Sitharaman presented the Budget for Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2022-23 financial year amid opposition from some members of opposition parties, including Congress MP Manish Tewari, who demanded more time to discuss the Budget.

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