Newsmakers

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APROVED: From January 2010, J&K will have a new pension scheme (NPS) for the new recruitments. Almost similar to the Contributory Provident Fund (CPF), under NPS an employee would contribute an amount fixed by the state government from his salary to get a matching contribution from the government.

DECLINE: An NGO stated that seasonal migration of Gujjars and Bakerwals has come down by 37 percent in the last 20 years. Killings of nomadic Gujjars in upper reaches and restrictions imposed by the security agencies on pastures are the main factors for the decline in the age old practice.

DECLARED: The Union ministry of Commerce & Industry has declared Srinagar and Islamabad districts as “Towns of Export Excellence” in its Foreign Trade Policy released recently. The two districts under the new scheme are entitled to many infrastructural facilities for capacity building, export promotion projects for marketing and also special finance assistance under ASIDE (Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development of Exports) scheme.

MARKED: The state legislative complex that many thought is haunted, is now in the focus for alleged fraud. Before the assembly adjourned sine die, lawmakers cutting across party lines said the government has spent more than double the requirement to own a defective hall lacking basics like ventilation. They sought a judicial probe into the expenditure of over Rs. 50 crores on the complex.

MISSING: As many as 14 of the top 100 tax defaulters owing state government Rs. 488.55 crores are untraceable. Those traceable but not paying include Kuldeep Rashid and company (country liquor contractor), Saifco Cements, Godfrey Philips India Ltd. Top three defaulters with outstanding of Rs 46.22 crore, Rs 45.29 crore and Rs 19.75 crore respectively are Power Grid Corp of India-Jammu Sales Agency, JKPCC and ROM Industries. NHPC, Bharti Airtel and BSNL are also amongst defaulters.

TALKING: Communist legislator Yusuf Tarigami has consumed eight hours of debate time during the 36-day long session of state legislature while an average of 42 minutes were consumed by other lawmakers. A total of 52 hours were consumed by all lawmakers during the session. PDP which led largest number of walkouts, consumed 15.30 debate hours followed by the NC availing 11.12 hours. Congress availed 6.4 hours and BJP ended with only 6.9 hours.

ARRESTED: Police have arrested four smugglers carrying sapphire and heroin in Kishtwar. They have been identified as Bharat Bushan Wazir, Farooq Ahmed Dogi, Shah Nawaz Bhat and Mohammad Hussain. The recoveries included 145 grams sapphire besides 800 grams of heroin.

DEINDUCTED: Around 15,000 troops from 39 Mountain Division are being withdrawn from J&K and some of its units have already returned to its base in Himachal Pradesh. The division was posted in Rajouri and Poonch. The division, part of which will still remain in the border districts, was inducted into the belt in 1994.

CONVICTED: District & Sessions Court Kupwara Rashid Ali Dar awarded death penalty to a government gunman, Ghulam Mohiuddin Wani of Walkohul Lolab, for killing five people including four of a family in Lolab in 1997. The slain included Prof Muhammad Yusuf, his wife, Gul Jan, their two minor children, Naseer and Haneef, and a police constable, Muhammad Ishfaq Bhat. Slain teacher’s son Anees said though justice was delayed, he is satisfied as it was actually done.

INAUGRATED: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah inaugurated the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell at civil secretariat Srinagar. People can personally register their complaints from over 100 CICs in various blocks and get feedback besides registering complaints on http://10.149.2.4/awaz.

APPOINTED: S L Bhat, Financial Commissioner, Planning would be new Chairman of Public Service Commission (PSC) with K B Jandial and Masood Samoon as members. The position was vacant since M Shafi Pandit retired. Jandial and Samoon were posted against vacancies arising out of the retirement of Aman Rathore and Dr Nissar Jan.

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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