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Post Article-370 : Scope for Increased Development in Jammu Kashmir
8/6/2020 12:26:08 AM

Vikas Sharma

A major positive development post abrogation of Article-370 has been the massive budgetary allocation to the newly carved out of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. In the Union Budget 2020, which was the first budget post abrogation of Article-370 which bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir into the Union Territories into J&K and Ladakh, the Union Government has proposed Rs 30,757 crore for Jammu and Kashmir.
President Ram Nath Kovind had observed while commenting on the abrogation on the abrogation of Artilce-370 by the Indian Constitution, that the rapid development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are among the priorities of the central government. He had further added that the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution by two-thirds majority in both the houses of Parliament was not only historic but had also paved the way for equitable development of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Post abrogation of Article-370, all the developmental projects in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has gained momentum.
The people of the region are now getting full benefits under the central schemes as: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Ujjwala Yojana, Ayushman Yojana, Ujala Yojana, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and food subsidy in a transparent manner. Existence of Article-370 had prevented the implementation of these beneficial schemes on a thorough scale in the region. Post abrogation of the Article-370, the marginalized and the underprivileged sections of the region has received the benefits of the developmental schemes launched by the Union Government on a large scale. For instance, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, while around 3,500 houses were built in Jammu and Kashmir till March 2018, in less than two years thereafter, construction of more than 24,000 houses has been completed. This has been possible as the restrictions imposed by the controversial Article-370 were done away with post its abrogation. Apart from this, works relating to connectivity, irrigation, hospitals, schemes related to tourism and establishment of institutes of higher education such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are also proceeding at a rapid pace in Jammu and Kashmir. Active role played by the Union Government has also eased the life for the fruit growers in the region. NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd) has been entrusted with the responsibility for the direct procurement of apples in Jammu and Kashmir, which has especially benefited the apple growers of the Kashmir Valley. Immediately after the abrogation of Article-370, the Central Government announced that the Union Home ministry and the ministry of Agriculture would oversee the smooth procurement, wherein the Centre would directly buy apples from apple growers in J&K. In a notification, the Union Government directed that the state government will ensure direct payment in the bank account of the apple grower through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). It further added that all categories of apples – A, B and C – will be procured from the apple producing districts in Jammu and Kashmir as well as designated mandis in Sopore, Shopian and Srinagar. In addition to the above interventions, Centre Government will pump an additional Rs 8,000 crore to help apple and dry fruit traders in J&K including Rs. 2,000 crore towards procuring apples directly from growers. The move is aimed to send positive signals to the business community showcasing the region as an ideal place for investments post abrogation of the Article-370, thus helping to revive the business sentiments in the Valley. Quality control-cum-grading committees will be constituted for each mandi for validation-cum-certification of the apple to be procured at the mandis to ensure quality control of the entire process. It is believed that the list of measures would enforce a strict quality control over the entire process of procurement and distribution of the produce. After witnessing the enormous development and changes, the abrogation of Article-370 has ushered in the small villages and towns of the region, the people have finally realized the futility of their initial misgivings about the situation post Article-370.
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