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New Delhi: The Central Government on Tuesday said it was committed to the reconstruction and overall development of Jammu and Kashmir, and announced additional assistance of Rs.2,437 crore for rebuilding infrastructure, including housing, in the state.

The Central Government would do everything possible to help the people affected by flood last year and develop Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a joint press conference here.

This additional amount would be released during the current financial year, the finance minister said.

“This government is committed to the full-fledged development of Jammu and Kashmir,” Rajnath Singh said, describing how immediate relief was provided to the state’s people when devastating floods hit them in September last year.

“I went there. Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) also went there. Rs.762 crore was allotted (for immediate relief). Prime minister also announced additional Rs.1,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation,” the home minister said.

The finance minister said that a total of Rs.2,602 crore was released last year under various heads. They said that the government soon realized that the funds were not enough to reconstruct the flood-affected state and hence, decided to give the state more money to put it back on the track of development.

Jaitley said a team of central officials would visit the state again to assess the situation and make recommendations for developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The team will suggest long-term measures…this work is in progress,” the finance minister said, adding that Rs.2,437 crore will be released during the 2015-16 fiscal year to help the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said: “We are working out a larger development programme. This will be a fully funded programme.”

He said it would take care of immediate relief to the people as well as long-term development programmes for the state. (IANS)


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