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‘Previous rulers used funds for personal benefits’

Srinagar, Jan 21:Charging previous governments of “unabated” corruption, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said Centre has earmarked Rs 16 crore for Himayat scheme to help educated unemployed youth to find jobs.

Naqvi was addressing a gathering in Srinagar outskirts as a part of Centre’s reach out programme to make people aware about the “positive impact” of the revocation of special status.

 

“Corruption is a disease which for many years affected Kashmir. Crores of rupees were disbursed for Jammu and Kashmir but the money was not reaching the people. Few people used these funds for their personal benefits. But now the funds are going to directly to you (people),” he said.

Naqvi said people were ditched by their representatives earlier. “We now want to reach out to the people, listen to their woes and solve their problems. We came here with a positive approach and mindset,” he said.

Naqvi informed that the Centre has earmarked Rs 16 crore under Himayat scheme for Jammu and Kashmir.    “We have already identified at least 1200 educated youth under this programme. People used to travel faraway places for treatment and now AIIMS is coming up in Samba in Jammu and Lassipora in Kashmir. Five medical colleges are also coming up that will open 500 seats for people of the state,” he said.

Union Minority Affairs minister said their focus is on the development and providing employment opportunities to the youth. “We framed schemes like Hunar Haq for youth. These schemes will give them employment along with development of the region. Those who apply for scholarships will get benefitted through central government’s initiatives,” he said.

Naqvi said main motive of their visit to Kashmir was “to bring positive and effective change in the lives of people”.  “It has happened for the first time that entire council of ministers had reached out to Kashmiri people to hear their views. The initiatives will not stop here as we will continue visiting the valley. We will stay in touch with the officers also to know about people’s grievances,” he said