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Corruption is J&K’s biggest problem: Governor

Srinagar, Dec 12: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Wednesday that corruption is the single biggest problem that has retarded economic development in the state.
Addressing the media after releasing a compendium of developmental and administrative works done in the state during Governor’s rule, Malik said: “Corruption is the single biggest problem of the state.
“Those in power here, be it political, administrative or business power, live like Mughal emperor Jahangir.
“The poor youths who go with their ponies to earn a living during the Amarnath Yatra do so without even wearing warm clothes.
“When I said the state’s biggest single problem was corruption, a senior politician said I was bringing a bad name to the state.
“It is in fact the rampart corruption that brings a bad name to the state and it needs to be weeded out.”
Malik said his administration had pro-actively been pursuing an anti-corruption agenda.
“The state vigilance organization has been given more powers by converting it into the state Anti-Corruption Bureau.
“This empowerment has already started showing results. We recently had a Commissioner level bureaucrat in our net.
“More punitive action against corrupt officials is going to be taken in the days to come,” Malik said.
Calling “successful” conduct of civic polls a “landmark achievement”, Governor, Satya Pal Malik, on Wednesday said the bodies would get Rs 1,200 crore and Rs 2,300 crore per annum, respectively.
Announcing the achievements of governor-led administration, Malik said conducting of civic polls was for empowering of people and devolution of power.
He said the elections conducted in a span of three months were “free and fair”.
“Transfer of funds, functions and functionaries to the local bodies has been approved. Sarpanchs will get Rs 2,500 honorarium per head per month, while Panchs will get Rs 1,000,” he said.
“The total funds for civic bodies would be Rs 3,500 crore annually.”
The government has termed the initiatives of the governor as ‘Mission Delivering Development’ and ‘Mission Good Governance’.
For devolution of powers, the government approved Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill-2018, he said.
“Mayors/Deputy Mayors of Municipal Corporations and Presidents/Vice-Presidents of Municipal Councils/Municipal Committees elected through secret ballot Amendments made in the Panchayati Raj Act-1989 to devolve powers to Panchayats, ensure participative decision-making functioning and monitoring of 19 Departments devolved to Panchayats. Social audit of government schemes and programs to be conducted by Panchayats,” he announced.
He said bottlenecks have been removed for implementation of Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
“Long pending state level issues have been resolved. Land for two new AIIMS, IIT, IIM have been handed over. Work started on Ring Road Jammu. Land for IIM out-campus identified in Kashmir.”
“Final instalment of Rs 110.74 cr released by the Govt of India under PMDP for upgrading the healthcare infrastructure in JK ensuring full release of the allocation of Rs 900 crore under this sector.”
He said Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Corporation (JKIDFC) was constituted to raise Rs 8,000 crore for development.
“Major thrust to infrastructure, particularly languishing projects, some of which have waited for over 20 years.”
He said 559 water supply schemes, costing Rs 965 crore approved to ensure assured drinking water supply
“Discussion initiated with Asian Development Bank for $150 million fresh loan for new development projects.”
MoU has been signed between J&K and Punjab government for execution of Shahpur-Kandi Dam Project, he said.
“J&K will also get 20% electricity from Shahpur-Kandi, Thein Dams.”
He said that Ratle Hydroelectric project has been cleared for implementation, which was hanging for over 5 years
He said J&K would get its first-ever Gas Pipeline
He said 175 declarations/notifications involving 8770 Kanals of land for various important developmental projects like roads, bridges, and transmission lines have been issued.
Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Act was amended to further empower the Council, he said.
Funds earmarked for development works Ladakh region to be released through the Councils, the governor announced.
For administrative reforms, he said fact-finding committees have been constituted to go into areas suspected of having transparency issues.
For reformation in recruitments, he said, interviews have been abolished for many posts, as selection would be made only through common merit-based exam
“Selection of 958 Medical Officers was the fastest ever selection process completed by JKPSC in just 42 days. Selection process for 3,700 medicos and paramedical staff for five New Medical Colleges on fast-track basis,” he said.
He said a high-level committee headed by Advisor to Governor has been constituted to address service-related grievances of government employees.

Major initiatives taken by Guv during past five months
* Rs 80000 crores PMDP fast-tracked
* J&K to get first-ever Gas Pipeline
* New Power Corridor to J&K
* New rail link from Baramulla to Kupwara
* J&K Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill-2018 approved
* Generating Employment – 42211 New Posts Created
* Power to every home
* Housing for All
* Ease of Doing Business
* J&K Trade & Export Policy

 

‘No political agenda, aim is development of entire J&K’

Jammu, Dec 12: Governor, Satya Pal Malik, on Wednesday said he does not have any political agenda and was working strictly within the ambit of the constitution.
Interacting with media at a press conference here, Malik said he was not trying to encroach upon the political space in Kashmir.
He was replying to a question about the former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti accusing him of encroaching upon the political space in the state.
Malik said he was in J&K not to make the political parties happy but to accelerate the development of the state and remove “genuine grievances” of the common people.
He said he endeavour was to reach the common people and ensure a “balanced development” of the state’s three regions.
Governor said, “I tried to streamline the issuance of the bona fide resident certificates to permanent residents of J&K but had to shelve the process because of the hue and cry raised by certain political parties. Complaints of inordinate delay in issuance of these certificates had been received from the affected people.”
Malik said corruption in J&K was more than in any other state and tackling the menace was a challenge before him.
Development of the state has been hurdled due to corrupt practices and it was an “opportune time” for the political leadership and bureaucracy to introspect, he said.
“The influential people have become rich whereas the common people have been suffering because of the malice,” he said.
He said that among the major initiatives of his administration towards good governance was the establishment of the first ever Anti-Corruption Bureau, making amendments to make the J&K Vigilance Commission Act 2011 more vibrant and effective and amendment of the Prevention of Corruption Act to provide it more teeth.

Malik was hopeful that a new leadership would be churned out of the Panchayat and municipal elections that have successfully been completed in the state after a gap of several years. These elections were held to empower the people and not to tinker with the Article 35A as was alleged by some political parties.

He regretted that J&K was not being projected in the right perspective by the national media and at times the reports were “distorted” without bringing out the truth.
Bottlenecks have been removed and 1296 development projects languishing for as long as 20 years have been approved for completion with an investment of Rs 2700 crore. Projects worth about Rs 6000 crores will be sanctioned in the next two months.
Malik said that in an effort to introduce transparency, the interview system for recruitment process has been abolished and 1000 doctors have been recruited through the fast-track system within 42 days.
He said that work on building bunkers for residents of areas near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Rajouri and Poonch districts will be taken in hand soon.