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Assembly polls in J&K will be held after conclusion of delimitation process: Nirmala Sitharaman

Sitharaman scaled


NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday said the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections will be held after the conclusion of the delimitation process and the final decision on poll schedule would be that of the Election Commission.

Replying to a debate on the budget for Jammu and Kashmir for 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said development works were progressing fast in the UT only because between August 5, 2019 and today, the “law and order situation has improved and the people have accepted the changes”.

 

“I want to thank the people of J&K for welcoming the changes of August 5, 2019 and peacefully participating in activities. The District Development Council Elections were a referendum on those decisions and a 51 per cent voting percentage showed that the people have welcomed the decisions,” Sitharaman said after National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi flagged security concerns accusing the Centre of converting J&K from a democracy to a bureaucracy.

The FM rejected NC’s assertions asking why 51 pc people would vote if law and order was not normal and if militant threats loomed.

She said six lakh youth had participated in sports activities in JK since 2019 and this reflected normalcy.

“Militancy related incidents are down,” Sitharaman noted informing the Lok Sabha that the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baralumma rail link would be completed by December 2022.

She said 3,500 MW power was generated in JK in 70 years since Independence while MoUs for generating 3,300 MW had already been signed UT since 2019.

“Hundred per cent household will be electrified and 100 pc water connections to houses given by September 2022,” the FM said.

She added that between 2019 and 2019, 8136 capital projects had been completed in the UT; followed by 10, 500 in 2019-2020 while 16000 projects will be finished this year.

The completion rate of projects has doubled between 2018 and now, said Sitharaman adding that J&K was doing well on MNREGA and over 3 crore person days of work had been generated in the current financial year.

On the job sector the FM said 10,000 vacancies had been identified and 8000 advertised. “As many as 12,379 gazetted and non-gazetted vacancies have been identified and the departments are in the process of referring these to recruitment agencies. JK Bank has sanctioned loans worth Rs 270 crore to 17,800 unemployed including 4,000 self -mployed women,” the FM said.

The government further informed the House that 6,000 acre had been identified for the establishment of industry in JK and 3000 acre were available for allocations.

Over one lakh crore worth of budgetary demands for JK were later cleared by a voice vote.