After Guv-PM meet, nod on flood package likely

Srinagar/New Delhi: The government of India is expected to given an in-principle nod for a flood relief package for the state, following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and governor NN Vohra.
Vohra is learnt to have updated Modi about the progress of the rehabilitation work in the state in the aftermath of the devastating floods last September.
Worried about the severe financial crunch in the state, and a logjam over the flood rehabilitation money sought by the previous state government, Vohra had on Friday met Home minister Rajnath Singh and Finance minister Arun Jaitley and sought immediate central assistance for providing relief to the people.
During the 30-minute meeting, Vohra presented a detailed overview about the pace of rehabilitation of people who had lost their homes in the September 2014 floods, PTI said, quoting official sources.
So far, only 12,037 out of 199,964 families whose houses were damaged have been provided relief from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). 66,608 houses in Jammu and 133,356 in Kashmir region had been damaged due to the floods. In all 240,444 structures were damaged and of them, 33,331 were cowsheds and 8049 huts, the commissioner secretary had said.
Governor also briefed the PM about the talks he had with Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley Friday evening and thanked the Prime Minister for continuous support to help the state overcome the financial crisis.
The Centre had granted Rs 1122.56 crore to the state to meet the immediate financial crisis arising out of heavy expenditure for providing relief to the people affected by last year’s flood.
Out of this, Rs 1102.56 crore has been sanctioned from the National Disaster Response Fund to meet expenditures incurred by the state government for immediate restoration of public infrastructure devastated by the floods. Another Rs 20 crore has been sanctioned from the National Rural Drinking Water Programme for the restoration of drinking water system.
In his meeting with Jaitley, the governor had said the state government continues to reel “under the burden of huge structural negative Balance in Current Revenues (BCR) which has grown over the years”. He observed that there is an unfunded gap of over Rs 5000 crores in the overall resources of the state government as a result of which the level of pending liabilities across the treasuries in J&K has crossed over Rs 2000 crore besides requesting immediate release of the balance amount of around Rs 1160 crore under Special Plan Assistance (SPA) to ensure timely completion of ongoing development projects in the state.
—With PTI inputs