The Jammu and Kashmir government has been unable to utilise central funds for development of the state due to corruption in lower ranks of administration, PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beig said on Saturday.
In a scathing attack on the functioning of some of his party ministers in the state government, Beig said, “The Centre had sanctioned Rs 19,000 crore for the state this year, but we are not able to spend this amount. Our officers are weak.” The PDP leader, who represents Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency, said he did not know about the state of affairs at higher levels of the administration, but corruption was prevalent in lower levels.
He urged Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to ensure that the officers were held accountable. Beig was speaking at a rally held to celebrate the 18th foundation day of the party.
He addressed the chief minister, who was also present at the rally, as ‘prime minister’ in his speech.
“I had discussed with Mufti (Mehbooba’s father Mohammad Sayeed) Sahib several times that Mehbooba should become the first woman prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir, but he was helpless as she refused to hold any office during his lifetime,” he said.
The PDP leader also criticised the arrest of Hurriyat leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with its probe into terror funding in Kashmir. “Somebody from the seven persons (arrested) may be innocent and should be set free. Proceedings should be initiated against only those who had indulged in killing of people and burning of schools,” he added.
Seven people including Altaf Ahmed Shah, son-in-law of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, were recently arrested by the NIA in connection with its probe into funding of terror and subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley.