J&K budget presented in Parliament nothing new but jugglery of figures: Tarigami

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Srinagar

A day after the Centre presented a Rs 1 lakh crore budget for Jammu and Kashmir for 2020-21, senior CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday said it is nothing new but jugglery of figures.

Sharply reacting to the Centre’s proposal to fill up 50,000 vacancies in government jobs in the Union territory, Tarigami, also a former legislator asked what happened to a similar promise made last year in August.

The J&K Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) in the Parliament is nothing new but jugglery of figures. On the ground, even those projects are pending which had started before the BJP government came to power in the Centre in 2014. Those projects which were started during the UPA-II regime are still incomplete, Tarigami said in a statement here.

He said the business activities and developmental projects, including the repair of roads and livelihood issues of people, have come to a halt in Kashmir.

The government has failed to release not only the pending payments of contractors but the frequent closure of the national highway has given a blow to the already fragile economy of Kashmir.

“How many decades will it take further to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country by a dependable road or rail link? The highway and railway line projects should have been given a priority since the BJP-led government came to power in 2014. But the reality is that the condition of the national highway has gone from bad to worse in the last few years, he said.

He said the non-payment of wages to daily wagers, casual, MGNREGA, contractual and Anganwadi workers and helpers, ASHAs, CPWs, Mid-Day Meal workers and others is another concern which the government must attend to on priority.

The livelihood issues of people have been totally ignored. We are concerned over the plight of the working class who is adversely hit by the Modi government’s economic policies which are drastically affecting the workforce in J&K and the rest of the country, he said.

On the proposed jobs for youths in Jammu and Kashmir, the CPI(M) leader said the then governor Satya Pal Malik on August 28 last, when Kashmir was going through the worst lockdown imposed by the Centre after the abrogation of Article 370, had announced that 50,000 jobs would be made available to the youths in the next three months.

The latest announcement by Union Finance Minister in the Parliament seems to be a similar promise. It is nothing new but a repetition of what has been said in the past, he said.

In January this year, Tarigami said some posts were advertised in the J&K High Court.

People of J&K genuinely expressed concern that jobs should be provided to locals only. Afterwards, the government withdrew the notification and since then no decision has been taken. On the ground, the reality is different from what is being said by the government.

He said the economy of Kashmir was already in doldrums since the devastating flood hit the Valley in 2014 and due to the unrest of 2016.

But after the August 2019 clampdown, it has virtually collapsed as tourism, trade and other vital sectors were badly hit. All businesses have been shattered in Kashmir in the last more than seven months.

He said those who were already earning their livelihood were deprived of the same.

Thousands of casual labourers, need-based daily wagers, scheme workers and others are without wages for the last more than eight months, he said.

“The J&K Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister in the Parliament is nothing new but jugglery of figures,” he added.

He said that on the ground, even those projects are pending which had started before the BJP government came to power in Center in 2014. Those projects which were started in UPA-II are still incomplete.

“Business activities and developmental works, including repair of roads, and livelihood issues of people have come to a halt in Kashmir,” he said.

“The Government has not only failed to release the pending payments of contractors, but frequent closure of the national highway has given a blow to the already fragile economy of Kashmir,” said Tarigami in a statement.

He said, “How many decades will it take further to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country by a dependable road or rail link? The highway and railway line project should have been given a priority since the BJP-led government came to power in 2014. But the reality is that condition of the national highway has gone from bad to worse in the last few years.”

“The non-payment of wages to daily wagers, casual workers, NREGA workers, contractual, Anganwadi workers/helpers, ASHAs, CPWs, Mid-Day Meal workers and others is another concern which the government must attend on priority. The livelihood issues of people have been totally ignored,” he said.

“We are concerned over the plight of the working class who is adversely hit by the economic policies pursued by the Modi government which are drastically affecting the workforce in J&K and rest of the country,” said Tarigami in a statement.

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