Mufti Announces Massive Hike of 200% in District Plans



Moving away from past practice of adhocism in District Plans which used to create liabilities and unfinished projects, the Government today approved a structured scheme of financing of District Plans for the State.

According to a statement issued Thursday, under the new modus operandi, three components of allocated Capital Plan will be equally distributed in clearing past liabilities, completion of ongoing works and taking up new projects respectively. From now on, the expenditure approved in District Board meetings will only be for development works and not salaries which will lay a sound foundation for creation of durable assets.

Under the new criteria set for financing of the district plans, four basic parameters have been taken into consideration by the Government. These include population, income, area and infrastructure.

The Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, approved the new financing methodology while chairing the District Development Board meetings of Baramulla and Kupwara, today.

While Rs 226.32 Crore Annual Plan for Baramulla district, a step up of 237 per cent over last year’s allocation, has been approved, for District Kupwara, a Capital Plan outlay of Rs 217.47 Crore has been okayed, which is 239 per cent increase over the previous year.

While chairing the Board meeting of Baramulla, the Chief Minister described the new system of financing District Plans has a huge take off that ensures infrastructure development and proper utilization of capital expenditure. “By separating revenue and capital components, the Capital Expenditure Plans have been made potent instruments of development,” he said while stressing on prioritizing the completion of abandoned projects.

Appreciating the Finance Minister for making capital funding more meaningful, the Chief Minister emphasized upon utilizing modes of institutional financing through schemes implemented by NABARD, Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

Linking devolution of powers to strengthening institutions at grassroots level, Mufti Sayeed placed high priority on proper expenditure. For this, he said a transparent and accountable system of governance has to be firmly entrenched.

Reiterating his commitments made during visit to Kaman Post and Salamabad earlier this month, which he called Valley’s show-window, the Chief Minister said the Trade Facilitation Centres, both at Salamabad and Chakan da Bagh, will be made real business hubs by creating facilities of banking and telecommunications, besides facilitating trade delegations across the LoC. “The Joint Secretaries of MEA and MHA have assured us that both the issues will be flagged in the next meeting of the Joint Working Group between India and Pakistan,” he said, while stressing upon taking the cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures beyond the ritual of meetings between undivided families.

The Chief Minister also announced four-lanning of Salamabad-Kaman Post Road at a total cost of Rs 24 Crore, out of which Rs five Crore have been allocated for the current financial year. He also announced construction of a Residential Complex at Salamabad, besides two restaurants for passengers at Salamabad and Kaman Post respectively.

Referring to the demands put forth by several legislators during the meeting, the Chief Minister observed that education and health sectors will be the cog-in-the-wheel of progress in all the districts of the State.

Laying stress on enhancing employability of youth by skill development, Mufti Sayeed also announced setting up of a skill development institute at Sangrama Kandi.

Later on, in the DDB meeting of Kupwara, besides sanctioning funds for completion of ongoing works and taking up of new projects, the Chief Minister announced construction of a Maternity Hospital at Jaggarpora and a new Conference Hall at the District Headquarters.

Expressing concern over large number of vacancies in the education and health departments, in particular remote and far-flung areas of the State, Mufti Sayeed said the issue of filling up of vacancies in both the sectors will be addressed after the new recruitment policy is finalized.

Minister for Finance, in his address, said the advent of new funding scheme will ensure completion of ongoing works, clearance of liabilities on account of approved projects, besides guaranteeing state share for funding under the Centrally-Sponsored Schemes.

The Chairmen of DDBs, in their remarks, hailed the new concept of financing, describing it as a significant step in strengthening the Single Line Administration.

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