KL NEWS NETWORK
Carrying forward the “pioneering welfare agenda” initiated by the government headed by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the state cabinet Monday approved some major initiatives as a part of the government’s response to the marginalized, disadvantaged and other sections of the society.
In a major welfare initiative, the State government today launched Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) to supplement the National Food Security Act (NFSA), an official spokesperson said this evening.
This was announced by Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar at a press conference after the maiden meeting of the new state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu this afternoon.
Akhtar said with the significant pro-people measures taken by the Government since March 2015 have made J&K a real welfare state, were a social, financial and food security cover is being provided to all such sections of the population who deserved it the most. “The Government headed by Ms Mehbooba Mufti is committed to protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens as was envisioned by Mufti Sahab,” he said and added that with these ground-breaking measures J&K is headed to become a model welfare state in the country.
He said the government headed by Ms Mehbooba Mufti decided to review NFSA in light of the commitment made by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed at his last press conference in Jammu in December 2015, where he (Mufti Sahab) had announced to remove the anomalies, if any, in NFSA and make it more people-friendly.
Akhtar said under MMSFES, all those persons who are covered under the state’s public distribution system, will get additional 5 kgs of ration per person in addition to 5 kgs of ration they are entitled to get under NFSA. He said the additional quota of ration under MMSFSES would be provided to the consumers at the subsidized rate of Rs 13 per kg for Atta and Rs 15 per kg for Rice and the State Government shall have to bear the financial burden of Rs 1497 per annum for the implementation of NFSA and MMSFES.
He said under the new scheme, there will be uniform scale of rations for all areas and food preferences of consumers will be taken care of and instead of wheat 75% population would get atta.
Akhtar said the new public distribution scheme will be operationalised from July 2016 as the CA&PD Department has to be given time to prepare ground for its effective implementation.
Step-up of Pension
In another major welfare measure, Akhtar said to mitigate financial difficulties faced by old age pensioners and family pensioners, the State sanctioned step-up pension for the pensioners falling in different age categories.
He said the additional pension will be extended to the old pensioners and family pensioners on attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 years and shall be payable from the 1st of the month in which the pensioner attains the prescribed age
Giving details, Akhtar said a pensioner in the age group of 80 years to 85 years would get additional basic pension of 20%, those in the age group of 85 years to 90 years would get step-up of 30% of basic pension, those in the age group of 90 years to 95 years would get 40% step-up, those in the age group of 95 years to 100 years would get 50% step-up and the pensioners who cross the age of 100 would get 100% step-up of basic pension.
Release of DA
Akhtar said the cabinet also approved release of Dearness Allowance @ 6% of pay, raising the total Dearness Allowance of the State Government employees from 113% to 119%, with effect from 1st July, 2015.
He said the arrears on account of additional instalment from July 2015 to 31st March 2016 shall be credited to the individual GPF accounts of Government employees and shall form part of the monthly salary from April 2016 onwards.
He said cabinet also approved release of the DA @ 6%, raising the total Dearness Allowance of the State Government pensioners/ family pensioners from 113% to 119%, with effect from 1st July, 2015. The arrears on account of the enhanced rate of Dearness Allowance from July, 2015 to 31 March, 2016, shall be paid to them in cash in the month of April, 2016 and shall form part of the monthly pension/family pension there onwards.
Revision of Move Allowance
Akhtar the Cabinet approved the revision in Temporary Move Allowance (TMA) from existing rate of Rs 1500 per month to Rs 2000 per month, with effect from 1 April 2016.
He said the he Cabinet also sanctioned the enhancement of Move TA from existing rate of Rs 10000 to Rs 15000 per employee per move, effective, from annual move of Durbar from Jammu to Srinagar in April 2016.
Summoning of Budget Session of Legislature
Akhtar said the Cabinet to request the Governor to summon and address the joint session of the State Legislature on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 at 11 am at Srinagar.
Groups of Ministers Constituted
Akhtar said to fast-track development and speed-up governance reforms, the cabinet approved constitution of four Groups of Ministers (GoMs) in the state.
He said the GoM to be headed by the Deputy Chief Minister, will oversee the effective implementation of the sectoral initiatives outlined in the PDP-BJP ‘Agenda of Alliance.’
The second GoM on economic affairs will be headed by the Finance Minister to oversee implementation of economic measures for the State.
Similarly, there will be GoM on Infrastructure Development and another GoM on Human Resource Development, he said.
Women Police Stations
Akhtar said to ensure that women affected by violence and crimes have an enabling Police system empathetic towards their grievances, the Cabinet accorded sanction to the creation of four Women Police Stations, one each in districts of Anantnag, Baramulla, Rajouri and Udhampur.
The Cabinet also sanctioned creation of 208 posts for these four Women Police Stations.
Presently, two Women Police Stations are functional one each at Srinagar and Jammu exclusively run by women police officers/staff. Besides four Women Cells are functioning, one each at district Islamabad, Baramulla, Rajouri and Udhampur on internal arrangement basis.