80,000 crore development package for Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu:  In a significant development, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday sanctioned a development package of Rs 80,000 crore for Jammu and Kashmir. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Human Resource Development .

The Centre’s announcement is likely to give a major boost to the development of various sectors including education, tourism, infrastructure and create job opportunities for thousands of educated but unemployed Kashmiri youths. The development package is also likely to uplift the socio-economic status of the people of the area. It may be recalled that on January 20, Union Minister Piyush Goyal had indicated that at least 25 projects will come up in newly-created Union Territory worth Rs 25,000 crore by March 2021. Describing Jammu and Kashmir as the “jewel” of the nation, he added that the government would come up with an industrial package for the Union Territory, hoping to attract larger investments. The announcement comes at a time when at least 36 Union ministers are visiting Jammu and Kashmir as part of the Centre’s outreach program. The move comes six months after the Centre scrapped the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state. Prominent among those who will be visiting the Valley are Telecommunications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, Minority Affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, minister of state for Defence Shripad Naik and minister of state for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy. Ahead of their visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting of the Council of Ministers, where he asked the leaders to spread the message of development during their interaction with locals.  They were also asked to spread the message about the various central schemes that will benefit the grassroots.PM Modi said the ministers should not restrict themselves to urban areas but also meet people in villages to inform them about the developmental work carried out by the central government in Jammu and Kashmir.