New Delhi: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the prevailing situation in the state. Later in the day the CM also met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, an official spokesman said.
He said that during the 20-minute meeting, the chief minister briefed the Union home minister on the security situation in the Valley as well as along the border with Pakistan, which has been witnessing heavy cross- border firing and continuous attempts of infiltration by militants.
The two leaders also discussed the ongoing peace initiatives being undertaken by the Centre’s representative Dineshwar Sharma, the home ministry official said.
The Chief Minister later in the day called on the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The two leaders discussed various developmental schemes and the fund flow to the state government to see these projects complete on due schedule.
During the meeting, the two leaders discussed in detail the economic issues confronting the State besides the implementation of Rs. One Lakh Crore Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
Mehbooba Mufti sought timely and expeditious release of funds and reimbursement claims under the package. She also made a case for making special funds available to the State Government to meet the liabilities of left out affected persons of 2014 floods.
The Chief Minister made a demand for swapping high interest loans with soft interest loans to reduce the repaying burden on the State Government. She also pitched for taking care of various liabilities on account of power bills through State bonds of Rs. 3500 crore.
Mehbooba Mufti apprised the Union Finance Ministers about the difficulties being faced by the local traders on account of losses during the unrest of 2016. She sought all help to them to get out this situation including interest subvention and re structuring of their loans. It may be recalled here that the members of the business community back home had made the request with the Chief Minister for the same a number of times and the Chief Minister had assured them to take it up with the Centre.
The Union Finance Minister assured the Chief Minister that the Centre would take all necessary steps to address the issues raised by the Chief Minister.
Importantly, yesterday, the General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, had said a large number of militants were waiting at launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC) to cross over into Kashmir and ceasefire violations by Pakistan are also an attempt to push infiltrators.
There were 515 infiltration incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017 in which 75 militants were killed. In 2016, there were 454 cases of infiltration in which 45 militants were killed.
In January alone, eight civilians and six security personnel were killed and around 70 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops along Indo-Pak border in Jammu region.
Pakistani troops carried out intense shelling along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts and from across the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts from January 18 to 22.
While there were no ceasefire violations by Pakistan reported along the IB since January 22, intermittent shelling has taken place along the LoC.
The Home Ministry had yesterday said it will reimburse all the funds spent by the Jammu and Kashmir government to pay compensation for losses to the victims of cross-border firing.