Issue not of resources, but capacity to spend: Mufti Sayeed

Pulwama District Development Board Meeting

PULWAMA — Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today constituted district-level Nodal Committees to monitor the sector-wise progress of vital schemes integrated into the newly-introduced Capital Expenditure Plans.

He said with developmental spending hiked this year, there is an urgent need to build capacities to spend the funds. “The issue is not of availability of resources but the capacity to spend the money allocated to us in entirety.”

The Chief Minister gave this direction while chairing the District Development Board meetings (DDB) of Pulwama and Shopian districts here today.

Besides Minister for Horticulture, Haj & Auqaf, A. R. Veeri and Minister for Transport, A. G. Kohli, who are the Chairmen of District Development Boards of Pulwama and Shopian respectively, Minister for Finance & Culture, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, MP, Mehbooba Mufti and Legislators, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, Ajaz Ahmad and Showkat Hussain Ganaie also attended the meetings.

While Rs. 116.75 crore Annual Plan for Pulwama district has been approved, a Capital Plan outlay of Rs. 85.05 crore for District Shopian was passed in the Board meeting today.

The Nodal Committees constituted by the Chief Minister will be headed by Chairman DDB and will have District Development Commissioner, CEO (Education), Chief Medical Officer and Chief Planning Officer or District Statistical Evaluation Officer (in case of Central-Sponsored Schemes) as Members.

Placing high priority on spending every penny allocated in the revised Capital Plans, Mufti Sayeed said very little progress has been made in sourcing institutional finance, which is part of the overall developmental plan of the State.

“We have failed to avail the inbuilt subsidy component in several Government schemes like Agriculture Marketing Infrastructure Scheme, Backyard Poultry and those related to dairy production, which offer huge incentive to the beneficiaries,” he said and announced that from now on, the Chairmen of all District Development Boards in the State will hold quarterly review meetings to monitor the progress achieved on such schemes.

Referring to the under-utilization of MNREGA in J&K and the steps required to broaden its scope, the Chief Minister stressed upon the Planning & Development Department to find out ways to link its labour component with other developmental schemes, in particular those in R&B and I&FC departments, where enough mandays can be guaranteed for unemployed rural youth.

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In order to fully tap the export potential of the horticulture sector, especially apple fruit in Pulwama and Shopian districts, Mufti Sayeed reiterated the Government’s resolve to shift to high-density plantations by importing rootstocks from Europe, introducing a market intervention scheme for quality improvement and providing weather-based crop insurance to fruit growers. He said the Mughal Road has provided alternate connectivity, which facilitates the timely movement of fruit-laden trucks to outside markets.

The Chief Minister also passed instructions for setting up of two Model Health Institutes in every constituency of the State, which will have all the facilities to cater to the huge rush of people, especially those looking for maternity and child healthcare.

Responding to the demands of the Legislators, the Chief Minister announced several decisions related to the improvement of roads and bridges damaged in floods, augmenting power supply by enhancing the capacities of power receiving stations, tapping the tourism potential of unexplored destinations in the twin districts and augmenting several water supply schemes.

In order to hone the technical skills of youth to enhance their employability, the Chief Minister announced the setting up of ITI at Wachi, in Shopian district.

The Chairmen of DDBs, in their remarks, hailed the Chief Minister for chairing all the District Development Board Meetings and evincing keen interest in the development of the State.

Minister for Finance, who gave a brief overview of the new financing scheme, said the Government has moved forward from the past practice of announcing a ritual 10% hike in the previous year’s annual plans, which did not reflect the needs of the districts.

“We have tried to assess the requirements based on ground realities, taking into consideration population, income, infrastructure, area and equalization of public services across districts while formulating Capital Expenditure Plans this year,” he explained.

Mehbooba Mufti, in her remarks, stressed upon bringing about a positive change on the ground so that people at the grassroots level are benefited by having access to basic amenities and social sector schemes. “While planning is very important, the results lie in the implementation of what is said and discussed in the Board meetings,” she stated.

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Also present in the meeting were Principal Secretary, Planning, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon, Commissioner / Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Dr. M. K. Bhandari, Commissioner / Secretary, School Education, Shaleen Kabra, Secretary, PHE, I&FC, Pervez Malik, Secretary to the Chief Minister, M. H. Malik, besides Divisional Heads, Deputy Commissioners of Pulwama and Shopian and Sectoral Officers of the two districts.

Other important decisions which were taken for Pulwama/Shopian include:

  1. Shikargah to be developed as Tourist Destination, Tarsar Marsar as Adventure Sports Destination
  2. Wachi Ziarat to be taken up under Pilgrim Tourism
  3. Dubjan and Hirpora to be brought under the jurisdiction of Aharbal Development Authority
  4. Postgraduate classes at GDC Boys, Pulwama, to start at the earliest; new subjects to be introduced at GDC Pampore and GDC for Women, Pulwama
  5. Construction of GDC for Women, Pulwama to be completed by year-end
  6. SDH Tral to be augmented
  7. Critical Ambulance for Zainpora, Wachi
  8. New General Bus Stand, Pulwama, to be made operational
  9. Expansion of Dogripora Bridge, Pulwama
  10. Solid Waste Management is to be taken up for all towns in Pulwama district
  11. Exploring the possibility of sewerage and drainage project for Pulwama town
  12. Completion of Wasoora Lift Irrigation Scheme, Pulwama
  13. Construction of Lift-Irrigation Scheme at Wunchoo-Wuduru, Wachi
  14. Augmenting de-watering pumps in Pampore town
  15. Upgradation of Konibal-Wuyan, Pampore and Bijbehara-Shopian roads; exploring the possibility of Tral-Pahalgam and Saeedabad–Khrew Road
  16. Footbridge across river Jhelum at Kandizal, Pampore
  17. Reshinagri-Ramnagri Bridge, Wachi, to be taken up under NABARD
  18. Upgradation of Power Receiving Stations of Wuyan, Awantipora, Tral and Pampore; Upgradation of Awantipora-Tral Transmission line by year-end
  19. Setting up of Power Receiving Stations at Trenz and Kaapran, Shopian
  20. Exploring the possibility of Fruit Mandi at Tral
  21. Floriculture Department to upkeep Chinarbagh in village Gang, Tral
  22. Two Community Halls for Shopian and Zainpora

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