Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman uses ‘The Kashmir Files’ reference to Lok Sabha; watch the video
Lok Sabha on Monday passed a budget totaling Rs 1.42 lakh-crore for Jammu and Kashmir for 2022-23 amid a war of words between the Treasury and opposition benches over the exodus of Hindus Valley, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accusing Congress of leaving the state’s minority community stranded.
During a budget discussion, Congress, the TMC and other parties alleged that the government had failed to achieve the goals it had set while repealing Section 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and demanded the speedy restoration of the state.
Opposition parties have also accused the government of not doing enough for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, an issue that again gained political traction following the release of the film Kashmir Files based on the exodus.
Responding to the discussion, Sitharaman attacked Congress over a series of tweets issued by his Kerala unit regarding Kashmiri pundits who were displaced from the valley in the 1990s following the outbreak of militancy.
Sitharaman said Congress tweets with the hashtag #KashmirFiles vs Truth on Sunday said the Kashmiri pundits left the valley on their own and not because they were forced to.
“The belief of our (Congress) party is that it was not because of terrorism but that the move was due to financial gain and the offering of land in Delhi…another belief is that there is a long battle between the separatists and those who defend India,” she said, quoting the tweets.
She also said that Congress was an ally of the government at the time of the exodus and that the then chief minister left people to fend for themselves when terrorism was on the rise.
She alleged that under Congress rule, the then Prime Minister met a separatist who allegedly killed an Air Force officer and then conceded the same to a foreign TV station.
MPs from Congress, NCP, TMC and National Conference walked out of Lok Sabha in protest against remarks made by the minister after the president did not allow opposition members to speak.
The House passed the budget totaling Rs 1.42 lakh-crore for Jammu and Kashmir along with additional requests for grants requesting additional expenditure of Rs 18,860.32 crore for the Union Territory.
Sitharaman said normalcy was achieved after the repeal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status whereas before that it was a “false normalcy”.
In August 2019, the government repealed many provisions of Article 370, resulting in the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. With this, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“Jammu and Kashmir was not normal under Section 370…there was false normality before the repeal of Section 370…after the repeal there is no no false normal,” she said.
Sitharaman said 890 central laws became applicable in Jammu and Kashmir after the repeal of Section 370.
“The removal of Section 370 was necessary, it was delayed…we have delivered on that promise to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
Backdooring has stopped and appointments are seamless, she said, adding that the system is improving day by day.
The government has been committed to the development of J&K and for the return of the Kashmiri Pandit, several measures have been taken.
She assured the House that the government would keep the promises made regarding the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.
According to her, the government has built 1,025 transmission houses while about 1,500 are under construction.
The minister said 40,000 projects were completed in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021-22 and connectivity in the union territory is improving.
The Union Territory has seen a 90% decrease in ceasefire from 900 in 2020 to 98 in 2021, she said, adding that terrorism has been contained and infiltrations have significantly increased. decreases.
On investment, she said, an investor-friendly campaign in Jammu and Kashmir has paid off.
“Investment proposals of Rs 44,177 crore have already been received. The resulting employment potential is 1.80 lakh…most of the investment proposals come from outside,” he said. she declared.
Capital spending has increased across all sectors, she said.
A record number of 50 lakh tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir between October (2021) and January (2022), she added.
The finance minister said that the 2022-2023 budget for J&K is again above Rs 1 lakh crore mark, which is an indicator of the commitment to make J&K a model of development.
It is an inclusive budget and all sectors will receive special attention, she said, adding that the J&K government will strive to double farmers’ incomes.
The investment proposal under the new industrial policy will be approved in an accelerated manner and the power generation capacity will be doubled in the next three years, she said.
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Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2022, 12:46 PM IST