PM’s JK package proves a dampener

New Delhi: Only 22 per cent of the Prime Minister’s Rs 80,000 crore development package for Jammu and Kashmir has been released to the state government so far, a parliamentary committee has said in a scathing report underlining the “little outcome achieved” under it.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a report tabled in the Rajya Sabha recently, said the progress on implementing the Prime Minister’s development package had been slow and a “poor outcome” had been achieved in the past 12 months.

The committee found that out of the Rs 80,068-crore Prime Minister’s Development Package for Jammu and Kashmir, projects of Rs 67,046 crore have been sanctioned and Rs 17,913 crore have been released to the state government, according to the report.

The committee noted that most of the projects – including that for creation of jobs, transit accommodations, one-time settlement of 36,384 families from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Chhamb displaced persons, and raising of India Reserve Battalions – were still under progress and “little outcome was achieved”.

“Observing this pattern of poor outcome in the past twelve months, the committee recommends that the Ministry of Home Affairs should intensify its efforts to achieve measurable outcome under the PM’s Development Package by speeding up the work in the upcoming fiscal and implement all the projects at the earliest,” the panel said in its report.

The committee also desires that the ministry may apprise it about the details of expenditure incurred under various heads out of Rs 80,000 crore and the actual physical and financial achievements against the set targets under this package, the report read.

There are seven projects which are at different stages of implementation.

“In that regard, the Committee would like to be informed about the total amount disbursed so far for payment of honorarium to the Special Police Officers at the enhanced rate of Rs 6,000 per month, and the number of beneficiaries, further progress made in raising of the 5 India Reserve Battalions.

“Status of projects amounting to Rs 255.30 crore already sanctioned and remaining proposals of Rs 245 crore pertaining to the security and law and order in Jammu and Kashmir, progress achieved with regard to construction of 6,000 transit accommodation in the Kashmir Valley, implementation status of the project on creation of 3,000 jobs identified by the state government in 18 different departments,” the panel said.

It also asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to inform it about the latest status of the implementation of the rehabilitation package for one-time settlement of 36,384 families from PoK, Chhamb displaced persons.

“The Committee recommends that the Ministry of Home Affairs, in tandem with the state government of Jammu and Kashmir should ensure timely implementation of undertaken projects of Rs 80,068 crore under the PM’s Development Package for the J-K,” the report read.

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