On the eve of completion of four years of ruling Jammu and Kashmir, chief minister, Omar Abdullah Saturday, announced that it will recruit 80, 000 educated youth in various government departments within a few months of time. He said the employment generation in government and private sectors has been flagged as top most concern by his government.
The chief minister also indicated the intension of the government to make provision in the next year’s Budget for stipend and insurance cover of sarpanches and panches irrespective of getting any financial support from the Centre in this regard.
“We have taken up this issue with the centre for funds”, he said maintaining that whether the centre government accedes to the request of the state or not, the state government would make the provision in the next Budget for providing stipend and insurance cover to panchayat members. “This is likely to involve Rs. 100 crores annually”, he added.
Omar while addressing a rally of panches and sarpanches on Saturday afternoon said that powerful and effective Panchayat Raj system in the state is his government’s commitment and every effort would be made to realize this goal. “Jammu and Kashmir is a state which cannot be governed from the secretariat but by the grass root level democratic institutions representing aspirations of the people, as such, we have moved forward with a commitment to create a powerful panchayat system in the state”, he said adding that the services of 14 departments have been transferred to these institutions while transfer of many more powers are in the pipeline.
Referring to the development registered in the state during the last four years of coalition government, Omar said that on this day four years back NC-Congress coalition government pledged to work together to seek peace and prosperity in the state. “We worked sincerely towards achieving this goal and the impact of our endeavour is visible on ground whether opposition would like to see it or not”, he said adding that opposition parties have developed the mindset to deny the achievements of ruling parties and same is true in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our report card is before the people and they will judge us by our performance. We are not ones who will sign their own APRs. We will ask the people to go through our performance and give their verdict in next elections in 2014”, he said. He said that those (PDP) who talk of power supply today did nothing during their tenure to launch even a single power project worth one mega watt instead they scuttled the 1200 MW Sawalkote Power Project signed by Dr Farooq-led government. “How do they expect growth and increase in power when they did nothing during their tenure”, he asked opposition and added that power projects take 5 to 7 years for completion and these cannot be build in one year.
“My government has given top priority to this sector and projects to generate over 1000 MWs of electricity have already been launched which would yield benefit for the people in near future. The inauguration of these projects is not necessary to be by my government but the benefit to people is our ultimate goal and we are moving forward with this intension”, he added.
The chief minister also informed that in his tenure 13 lakh tourists visited the Valley this year generating wide-ranging economic activities. He said development works all across the state are going on and public empowerment initiatives like Public Service Guarantee Act, Right to Information Act and establishment of Panchayat Raj are well placed to curb corruption, bring transparency and ensure good-governance.
Omar also appreciated the Rural Development Ministry and Ministers Ali Mohammad Sagar and Ajaz Ahmad Khan for infusing new energy in the department of public welfare, rural upliftment and empowerment of panchayats.
Chief Minister released a compendium of Rural Development Department containing last four years achievements of the department. He also released the news letter of Law and Justice Department.
Earlier in the morning Omar inaugurated Madr-e-Meherban College of Nursing and Genetic Study and Clinical Research Centres besides laying foundations of OPD emergency block and Sarai at SKIMS. He said that health care is the most important concern of his government and attributed the SKIMS and SKICC was his grandfather’s vision.
“The vision of creating an apex institute of modern health facilities in Srinagar was envisioned by Late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to provide latest medical treatment to the people within the state.”
Omar said that though the growth and development of SKIMS received jolt due to turmoil in the Valley, the institution provided best possible medicare to the people in all times. He said that his government wants the institution to achieve new highs and be at par with AIIMS and other reputed health institutions in the Country.
Omar said that the Super Speciality Hospital at Jammu and various modern district hospitals would further strengthened the health care status of the State adding that the focus is also on improving and upgrading rural health institutions to expand orbit of modern health care to people in villages and reduce the pressure on hospitals in the cities and towns.
The Centre for Genetic Study and Clinical Research has been completed at a cost of over Rs. 6.51 crores while Madr-e-Meherban College of Nursing involved an expenditure of Rs. 7.88 crores. The Sarai-I and Sarai-II will cost Rs. 12 crores and OPD Block Rs. 10 crores.