SRINAGAR: The devastating September-2014 floods annihilated the state’s economy and infrastructure, leading to a developmental vacuum, the Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu, said Saturday.
“The devastating floods of September 2014 annihilated our economy and infrastructure and led to a developmental vacuum. A comprehensive rehabilitation and reconstruction plan would be announced soon for flood-affected and its focus will be on relief, rehabilitation, and livelihood. The rehabilitation and reconstruction process would be taken to the logical conclusion,” Drabu, as per a release issued here, said in central Kashmir’s Budgam district at a function related to August 15 celebrations.
The FinMin highlighted various “initiatives taken by the present coalition” under the “visionary leadership of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed”.
The state, he said, needs “some major changes” particularly in “socio-economic diversification, political transparency, and change in mindset of younger generation…”
“This will materialise only when we are committed to give equal chances to all regions of the state to have equitable development, empowerment, and economic prosperity,” he said. “The government is committed to protect the distinct identity of the state.”
He said when the ruling PDP-BJP coalition assumed office, the state’s financial position was in a “precarious state” with around Rs 90, 000 crore liabilities from the previous regime.
“The state treasuries were not in a position to negotiate financial expenses,” he said, adding that the state needs “reform and changes on many fronts” to improve the developmental scenario.
The government, he said, has initiated many programmes under which all the districts shall be provided “sufficient funds under district plans” to develop infrastructure and expand economy. For the purpose, the Chief Minister has enhanced district plans of all districts to a “huge extent”, he said.
“If we use these funds judiciously, more and more employment opportunities can be created,” he said, impressing upon all concerned agencies to create a system of honesty and bring transparency in utilisation of funds.
Drabu, according to the release, unfurled the Indian flag and took salute of the march past from JIKP, JKAP, CRPF, NCC, 13 contingents of students from various educational institutions, and band contingent of 53 RR.
The minister, accompanied by SSP Budgam, also presented a guard of honour, it said.