NEW DELHI, APRIL 13, 2016 – Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, met the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, here last evening.
The Chief Minister discussed with the Finance Minister the need for creating a separate window for Prime Minister’s Development Package to speed up flow of resources to the state. She also requested early release this month of Rs.880 crore for interest subvention, Rs.2,000 crore for damaged infrastructure approved by NITI Aayog and another Rs.2000 crore for displaced persons in Jammu so that disbursement of compensation can commence.
Jaitley assured the Chief Minister of early action in the matter adding Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ratan Wattal, has been appointed as the coordinator for smooth implementation of Prime Minister’s Development Package. He will maintain close liaison with the State Finance Minister, Dr. Haseeb Drabu, so that the flow of funds to the state is fast-tracked.
Keeping in view the RBI nod for dollar-denominated trade for cross-LoC transactions, the Chief Minister underlined the need for replacing the present barter system with banking system so that the cross-LoC Trade at Salamabad (in Baramulla) and Chaka da Bagh (in Poonch) is taken to a higher level. She also sought Jaitley’s intervention in inclusion of additional items in the approved list for which the matter has to be vigorously pursued in the next meeting of the Joint Working Group between India and Pakistan.
Mehbooba Mufti also demanded a new Central Industrial Policy for J&K as the one in vogue will expire on June 17 this year. She called for extension of exemptions on income tax and concession of insurance premiums to J&K entrepreneurs, on the analogy of industrial package available to the North-Eastern States.
The Union Finance Minister assured Mehbooba Mufti, as regards the issues raised, early positive consideration by his Ministry.