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Central Government announces assistance of Rs 2,437 crore for Jammu and Kashmir

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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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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly

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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India
Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India. flickr

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly while it was discussing an important issue.

“Such cynical attempts have failed in the past and do not find any resonance in this body,” Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, said on Monday.

He was replying to a reference to Kashmir made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi during a debate on the Right to Protect People against crimes against humanity.

“While we are having this serious debate for the first time in a decade on an issue that is of importance to all of us, we have witnessed that one delegation has, yet again, misused this platform to make an unwarranted reference to the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Bayyapu said.

“I would like to place on record and reiterate that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric from Pakistan will change this reality,” he added.

Lodhi had said that many of the victims of killings and “mass-blinding” are “in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and that they “have the further indignity of living under an illegal and alien occupation”.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi. flickr

“Against this backdrop, calls for accountability would invariably smack of double standards and selectivity, especially when egregious crimes including killings and mass-blinding are being committed in full view of the international community,” she said.

However, Lodhi also said: “At its core, the responsibility to protect, is not a license to intervene in external situations, but, is instead, a universal principle of ‘non-indifference’, in keeping with historical context and cultural norms of respective settings.”

Also read: Women-Driven Rickshaw Program Creating Sensation in Pakistan

“We should also be mindful that the notion of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ does not become a mere re-enactment of the discredited ‘humanitarian interventions’ of the past,” she added. (IANS)