Inclusive Growth: Kashmir Plan Not Valley-centric

8 June 2014
Deccan Chronicle
Rajnish Sharma

New Delhi: The Centre's new Kashmir plan, contrary to general perception, will not be restricted to rehabilitation of pandits but go much beyond. As envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there will be a paradigm shift in Kashmir policy, with significant strategic and political aspects. Work on the 'K-Plan' began the day home secretary Anil Goswami, himself a Jammu and Kashmir cadre officer, met Mr Modi for a briefing even before the latter formally took charge. Sources said that Mr Modi clearly told the home secretary about his plan to usher in a changed policy on Kashmir would not be totally Valley-centric, as was the case earlier. The home ministry has already prepared a draft note that states the Centre will shift its focus from the Valley to the other two regions, Jammu and Ladakh, both bigger than the Valley in terms of area. 'There would be major strategic and tactical development of infrastr-ucture, particularly roads, railways, power, telecom and social sectors like health and education, in the Jammu and Ladakh region,' the plan envisages. 'The idea is to ensure that we treat Jammu and Kashmir as one entity, and not single out Kashmir. There has to be a cohesive policy linking the three regions Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,' a senior MHA official said. A multi-ministerial roadmap would be put in place to implement the plan, with ministries like finance, heavy indu-stries, medium and sm-all industries playing a key role. These ministries will give incentives to those wishing to set up industries or industrial parks in the Jammu and Ladakh. The ministries of tourism and food processing, that can play a key role in boosting the region's economy, will prepare separate blueprints.