SRINAGAR: Haseeb Drabu said at a press conference on Monday that the Indian government cannot tell NHPC (National Hydro Power Corporation) to return the 390-megawatt Dulhasti project and the 480-megawatt Uri-I project to the J&K government.
“NHPC is a company and the government of India cannot tell NHPC to return the power projects,” Drabu said in a post-budget press conference. “We have to work out a way. I assure you that there are discussions happening. We are working on modalities.”
Drabu admitted that the government was not sure when the power projects would be returned. “When would it happen, I don’t know. I cannot tell you that. But extensive discussions I have had (he did not say with whom) and we have worked three or four modalities. We will see which of them works the best. Hopefully, Inshallah, at some point of time it will happen,” he said.
On the question of rehabilitation of flood-hit traders, Drabu said, “Rs 800 crores are coming. We have given Rs 1,000 crore from the chief minister’s fund also. First of all, the shops should have been insured. Where they were not insured, we made full support to them below (turnover of) Rs 5 lakh. I think a good package has been given to them.”
On the sidelines of the press conference, when this reporter asked Drabu about rehabilitation of traders who had met losses beyond Rs 10 lakh but who had no insurance nor had taken any loans from banks, he did not answer. The principal secretary to the CM, Navin Kumar, replied to this question that such traders would be brought under the Indian government’s Rs 800-crore interest subvention scheme under which the government will pay half the interest of any loans they take from banks. He, too, did not explain what process a trader would have to follow for that. The government has also not made any announcement in this regard.
When asked about the non-performing assets in the state’s only listed company, the J&K Bank, Drabu said, “There is concern… but I believe in corporate governance. There is a Board of Directors (BoD) which is answerable. Under the Companies Act, they are liable. We don’t want to encroach on its space; that is how institutions die,” Drabu told reporters on the sidelines of the press conference.