'Jammu Grabs Lion’s Share Of Kashmir-Specific Funds'9 March 2011
Jammu: Puncturing the BJP’s “discrimination against Jammu” balloon, the independent MLA from Langate, Engineer Abdul Rasheed, on Wednesday said that the region even gobbled up a major chunk of the funds procured from the centre in the name of the Kashmir situation. In a forceful argument, Engineer Rasheed said that the centre should return Kashmir its vast resources if funds allocated to the state were deemed to be a favour. ‘If the funds given to the state by the centre are considered to be a favour, New Delhi should halt them, and hand Kashmiris back their vast resources so that the state can meet its expenses honourably,” the MLA said during a debate in the assembly on the finance bill. “Allotting funds from the prime minister’s reconstruction programme (PMRP)to the Jammu region is deplorable because reconstruction is relevant only where destruction has occurred,” he said. “Funds are being requisitioned in the name of the destruction in Kashmir, but when something falls into the kitty, people start talking of Jammu’s share,” he said. “Fine if Jammu does not want to stay with Kashmir. Kashmiris too will not run after Jammu, and will no longer tolerate the injustices being done to them. “The state is comprised of only two provinces. Ladakh is not a separate province, but a part of Kashmir,” he said. “But certain vested interests project it as a province and usurp the rights of Kashmiris.” Describing this year’s budget as disappointing and regrettable, Rasheed said that it had nothing for the rehabilitation of those affected by the turmoil last year even when the chief minister had himself said that 50,000 jobs had been lost due to the unrest. “It appears that the government is only exploiting the name of the victims,” he said.