Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday said the abrogation of Article 370 has demolished the “speed breaker” of redundant laws which had obstructed the development process in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh.
On the first day of his two-day visit to Ladakh, Naqvi addressed various public meetings and met representatives of various social organisations in Leh, Saboo-Thang, Chushot Shama, Chushot Gongma, and Phyang. He also reviewed different development projects in the Union Territory. He said now Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are also getting benefits of various socio-economic and educational empowerment schemes of the central government.
Naqvi said scrapping of Article 370 in 2019 has removed the political and legal obstacles in development of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh and both the UTs are witnessing significant development along with other states of the country. “After abolition of the Article 370, more than 75,000 youths of Jammu-Kashmir, Leh and Kargil areas (Ladakh) have been provided employment oriented skill development training, 50 new colleges are being set up, 25,000 seats have been added in existing colleges, lakhs of students have been provided various scholarships, one new medical college, one engineering college and National Skill Training Institute is being established in Ladakh,” he said. Naqvi said that the process has been started to fill vacant government posts and more than 35,000 school teachers have been regularised besides over Rs 500 crore have been allotted for construction labourers, pitthuwalas, street vendors and women for different economic activities and steps have been taken to make Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Kargil an “investment hub”. “Global Investment Summit has generated an investment worth Rs 14,000 crore,” he said.
Naqvi said that the entire population of Jammu-Kashmir, Leh and Kargil districts has been provided health insurance; more than 30 lakh people have been provided benefits under Ayushman Bharat health scheme; 17 special Covid hospitals and 60,000 beds have been created during coronavirus pandemic; about 2.5 lakh people of Jammu-Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh have been facilitated to return to their home during the pandemic. The minister said that the central government has initiated several administrative, land and reservation reforms. “As many as 164 laws of Jammu-Kashmir have been scrapped and 138 laws have been amended, 890 laws of the central government have been implemented. Amendment in reservation in government jobs has ensured that the maximum people are getting benefits,” he added.
Naqvi said that 13 lakh women belonging to economically weaker sections in Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Kargil districts have been given free gas connection under Ujjwala scheme, about Rs 6000 crore have been given for other various development schemes, Ladakh has been connected with National Power Grid, Srinagar-Leh transmission has been started. He said that the Union minority affairs ministry has prepared a roadmap for large-scale development in Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Kargil. “In the coming days, Union Minority Affairs Ministry will construct school, college, ITI, hostel, residential school, polytechnic, Hunar Hub, Common Service Centre, Sadbhavna Mandap and other health facilities,” he added.
Naqvi said that the process has been started to set up separate Haj Committee and Waqf Board for Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Kargil. “About 15.5 lakh students have been provided different scholarships; more than 20,000 people have been provided easy loans for various economic activities; basic infrastructure worth about Rs 1,500 crore has been developed under ‘Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karyakram’,” he added. Naqvi said that during the coronavirus crisis, the Narendra Modi government brought historic and path breaking reforms in socio-economic and educational fields, administration, trade, labour, defence, coal, civil aviation, power distribution, space, forest land, agriculture, communication, banking, investment.
These bold reforms have ensured that India has converted “disaster into an opportunity”, he said. The National Education Policy, creation of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA), “Mission Karmayogi”- National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB) are historic steps of the Modi Government towards reforms, he said, adding that Jammu-Kashmir and Leh-Kargil are also getting benefitted from such measures.