Kashmir for speedy implementation of task force recommendations
24 December 2006
Indo-Asian News Service
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government will press for speedy implementation of the recommendations of the Prime Minister's Special Task Force on the state's economic development, Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra said Sunday.'We will seek speedy implementation of the task force recommendations so that the state draws the maximum benefit from them,' he said in a statement here.In a report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday, the task force headed by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor C. Rangarajan recommended a Rs.83 billion (nearly $2 billion) development package for the revival of the border state in areas like energy, roads, tourism and horticulture. It also suggested creation of a satellite city to decongest Srinagar and to improve the 'psyche' of militancy- hit state's people.Karra emphasised that the content and process of development of Jammu and Kashmir has to take into account the state's historical, institutional and political situation and deliver quickly on growth and poverty reduction as recommended by the task force. The minister said the task force had rightly identified power shortage as the critical bottleneck for attracting private investment in the state and had recommended evolving a policy framework to develop the state's hydropower potential.He welcomed the recommendation for transfer of the Dulhasti and Bursar power projects to the state besides expediting work on the Sawalakote power project.Karra said the creation of a special investment zone in the state as recommended by the task force, identifying tourism and horticulture sectors as the engines of growth, modernisation of the state's airports, fast track completion of road and rail projects, launching of employment generation schemes, creation of an asset reconstruction company (ARC) and enhancing telecom penetration in the state are some of the key areas that need to be worked on. 'As has been recommended by the task force, the state government would start working on a vision document and a master plan to follow it up with both short- and long-term implementation measures,' he said.