J&K schemes, normalcy taken up at inter-ministerial meet (2nd Lead)

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) An inter-ministerial meeting in the Home Ministry over Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 on Tuesday discussed implementation of central schemes in the erstwhile state and the steps taken so far for return to normalcy in the Valley.

“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,” a Home Ministry statement said.

The meeting, chaired by newly-appointed Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, was held with secretaries of several Central government departments in which he assessed the roadmap for implementation of Central schemes in two newly-created Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one — before they will come into existence on October 31.

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 over two hour 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.

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

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.

As Intelligence Bureau Director Arvind Kumar and some officers have also visited Jammu and Kashmir last week, it was decided in the meeting that more Central teams will be sent to visit the two Union Territories.

–IANS

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