SRINAGAR, SEP 12: The State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Shri Satya Pal Malik accorded sanction to the release of additional installment of 2% Dearness Allowance (DA) to the State Government employees and pensioners w.e.f 1st July, 2018, over the existing rate of 7% of the basic pay / pension.
The arrears from July, 2018 to September 2018 will be credited to respective G.P Fund accounts of the employees and w.e.f October, 2018, the salary /pension will be drawn on revised rates of D.A. However, pensioners or those employees retiring this year will be paid arrears in cash.
The impact on the exchequer on account of Dearness Allowance would be Rs 118 crore for the current financial year and the annual financial implications would come to Rs 177 crore approximately.
The enhancement of DA would benefit around 4.50 lakh State Government employees and 1.60 lakh pensioners.
J&K Start-up Policy 2018 approved
SRINAGAR, SEP 12: In a significant decision to facilitate and nurture growth of new Start-ups, the State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the “J&K Start-up Policy 2018”.
Advisors to the Governor, B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary to Governor, Umang Narula attended the meeting.
The Policy aims to inspire the young and entrepreneurial brains of Jammu and Kashmir to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship by creating a vibrant and conducive Start-up ecosystem in the State. The Government through this Policy aims to empower Start-ups to grow through innovation and design which, inter-alia, will help in accelerating economic growth besides generating employment opportunities.
The Policy shall give special attention to Start-ups with disruptive value additions in Food Processing and Allied activities, Agriculture including Horticulture and Floriculture, Textiles, Apparel & Fashion Technology, Renewable Energy, Handicrafts & Handlooms and their design element, Electronics System Design and Manufacturing, Information Technology enabled Services
The Policy will facilitate growth of new Start-ups through establishment of at least 10 new state-of-the-art incubators, Innovation Labs and Fabrication Labs across the three regions of the State including private sector. A strong institutional framework will be put in place for effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this policy.
A Monthly Allowance upto Rs 12,000 (for a period of one year) during incubation and one-time assistance upto Rs 12 lakh shall be given to a recognized Start-up for Product Research & Development or introduction of an innovative product or service in the market.
A Start-up shall be eligible for Energy Assistance, International Patent Filing Cost Reimbursement, Tax benefits/ relaxations in Public Procurement processes. Other interventions proposed in the Policy are creation of Innovation/Skill Development Fund, establishment of Jammu and Kashmir Angel Network (JKAN), Academic Interventions and Awareness and Outreach.
The Policy shall be valid for a period of ten years or till a new Start-up Policy is framed by the Government.
Approves JK Single Window (Industrial Investment &Business Facilitation) Act-2018
SRINAGAR, SEP 12: In another landmark decision, the State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Shri Satya Pal Malik approved the “J&K Single Window (Industrial Investment and Business Facilitation) Act, 2018”.
The Act is an initiative, under the flagship program of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) of Government of J&K, aimed at comprehensive and unprecedented overhaul of the outdated processes and procedures involved in setting up and operation of businesses in the state.
The legislation aims at making the doing of business in the State much easier and to create a hassle-free business friendly environment here.
Earlier, Pre-establishment approvals/NOCs would take months/years to obtain. The approvals/NOCs can now be obtained in a matter of week(s) through on-line mode in a time bound manner. Under a single umbrella, services of more than 12 departments have been brought to the door steps of the people through on-line mode. All services from Pre-establishment, Pre-Operation to Renewals will be available at the Single Window Portal.
The legislation also provides for a three level Committee at the State, Division and District level, fast clearances within the stipulated timeframe; minimum physical touch points with the official hierarchy; provision of deemed clearances; better compliance and transparency and an inbuilt grievance redressal mechanism.
The enactment of this ‘Single Window Act’ would ensure an improved EoDB ranking of the State of J&K during 2018.
Ex-gratia for NoKs of slain Police personnel enhanced from Rs 48 Lakh to Rs 70 Lakh
SRINAGAR, SEP 12: The State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Shri Satya Pal Malik accorded sanction to the enhancement/grant of ex-gratia relief to the NoKs of J&K Police Personnel killed in course of performing duties attributed to act of violence/militancy related incidents.
The decision will enhance the existing cumulative ex-gratia relief admissible to the NoKs of J&K Police Personnel from Rs 48 lakh to Rs 70 Lakh and to NoKs of SPOs from Rs 14.5 Lakh to Rs 30 Lakh.
The ex-gratia relief has been enhanced from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 Lakh under SRE(R&R) to NoKs of the J&K Police Personnel/SPOs and CAPFs/Army personnel; from Rs 3 Lakh to Rs 7 Lakh to NoKs of J&K Police Personnel from the Police Welfare Fund (MHA); from Rs 18 Lakh to Rs 33 Lakh to the NoKs of J&K Police Personnel, out of State Resources and grant of additional amount of Rs 12.50 lakh to the NoKs of Special Police Officers (SPOs), out of state resources.
The SAC further approved that education of two children in private schools in the State upto class 12th of such personnel of Jammu & Kashmir Police as may be martyred in militancy related incidents/violence, shall be borne by the State Education Department.
3 militants killed in Budgam encounter
Srinagar, Jan 21: Three militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter at Hapatnar woods in Charar-e-Shareef area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Monday.
News agency Global News Service quoted a senior police officer saying that a joint team of Army’s 53 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation in forest area of Hapatnar early Monday morning following “credible inputs” about the presence of some militants.
As the joint team of forces intensified the combing operation, the militants hiding in the area opened fire triggering off a gunfight which continued intermittently till late in the evening.
During the course of gunfight, three militants belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed, the officer said.
The operation was prolonged due to the tough terrain amid inclement weather conditions, he added.”So far one body has been recovered along with arms and ammunition. The other two bodies which are lying inside the hideout are yet to be retrieved,” the officer said.
“The identity of the slain is being ascertained,” the officer said.
The officer said that the government forces have also blasted the hideout of the militants in the mountainous area, covered under plenty of snow.
Meanwhile, sources identified one among the slain Shahid Baba of Drabgam, Pulwama. (With inputs from GNS)
Snow, rains persist: Land, air traffic disrupted
Srinagar, Jan 21: Although not as severe as predicted, fresh snowfall and rains were Monday lashed Kashmir bringing some respite to the people from the cold wave.
The plains of Kashmir witnessed moderate rainfall from early hours of Monday, while there were reports of snowfall in higher reaches of the valley, officials said here.
The MeT Office has forecast widespread rain and snow over the state with heavy falls at isolated places till Tuesday.
Meanwhile, traffic on the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway was halted because of heavy snowfall on the stretch.
“Today no movement of vehicular traffic on Jammu Srinagar NHW from Jammu towards Srinagar and vice versa as road blocked due to snow accumulation at Nowgam-Jawahar Tunnel-Qazigund Sector and still snowing,” J&K Traffic Police tweeted Monday morning.
Bad weather conditions also disrupted operations at the Srinagar International Airport here, leading to the cancellation of four flights, officials said.
“Due to the inclement weather, four of the 27 flights to and fro Srinagar were cancelled on Monday,” an official of the Airport Authority of India.
Another 11 flights got delayed due to poor visibility and intermittent rainfall since Monday morning, he said.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar on Sunday settled at minus 0.3 degree Celsius, same as previous night, a MET official said.
He said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, in south Kashmir recorded a low of 0.6 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius Sunday night.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius. Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius Sunday night, while Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Kargil registered a low of minus 14.0 degrees Celsius. Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir, colder than even Drass town which recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘Chillai Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).
Lack of funds halts vital JK tourism projects
Srinagar, Jan 21: The Governor-led administration is mulling to start new projects to boost tourism in Kashmir even as several old ones have been left midway due to want of funds.
In December last year, the administration ordered the constitution of an official panel for identification of new projects in tourism sector to be implemented under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
Back in 2014, the Government of India, under Project/Infrastructure Development for Destination and Circuits (PIDDC), had sanctioned Rs 7593.88 lakh for development of basic tourism infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir through private investment, opening of new potential destinations and development of heritage, adventure, and pilgrim and eco-tourism.
However, the projects have been left incomplete as the Centre has, as per the latest official data, released only Rs 3504.80 lakh of the sanctioned amount against which the department shows 100 percent expenditure.
Now, due to the unavailability of funds, the PIDDC project is on standstill.
The project included development of Eidgah, face-lifting of Khankahi Moula, Development of Jamia Masjid Heritage Corridor, Renovation of Aali Masjid, Upgrading of Ziyarat Abdul Razaq Sahib at Hawal, Ziyarat Hazrat Balaad Rumi at Rajouri Kadal, Ziyarat Akhoon Sahib and TajBibi at Fateh Kadal, Ziyarat Hazrat Noor Shaha Sahib at Narwara, and Conservation of areas from Naagar Nagar to Watlab.
The tourist circuit from Naagar Nagar to Watlab, which was a key component of the project, still requires Rs 2312.90 lakh to be completed, official data shows.
Another main component of PIDDC project, construction of Trans Himalayan Culture Centre in Leh, too requires further Rs 1094.48 lakh for completion.
Similarly, development of Khiram Shrine in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara town also remains incomplete for want of funds.
Section Officer of Planning, Tourism Department, Sajad Ahmad, told The Kashmir Monitor that “65 per cent” of the work has been completed on Naagar Nagar to Watlab component of the project.
“We had to stop the work because the Centre did not release the funds,” he added.
Executive Engineer, JK Tourism, Abdul Qayoom Kirmani said they have asked the Government of India for the pending funds and also sent to them the proposal of the new projects.
“We have identified new Rs 100 crore new projects under PMDP-II, which comprises of nine circuits,” he said.