August 2001 News

Call for pre-1953 status to J&K

10 August 2001
The Hindu

NEW DELHI: The journalist, Mr Kuldip Nayyar (Nom), today favoured restoration of the pre-1953 status to Jammu and Kashmir to win over the confidence of the people and to move forward in resolving the issue . Participating in the resumed discussion on the Agra summit in the Rajya Sabha, Mr. Nayyar said, ''I am of the opinion that we should go back to the pre-1953 position if we have to win over the people of the State.'' Lauding the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, for his peace initiative beginning with the Lahore bus journey, he said he welcomed the Agra summit as it was a step in the right direction. Maulana Obaidullah Khan Azmi (Janata Dal) said that on no count should India give an inch of land to Pakistan. While welcoming the initiative, Mr. J. Chittaranjan (CPI), said it was a serious mistake on the part of the Government to have held the summit without adequate preparations and without an agenda. He was also critical of its media management, saying that Pakistan scored over India in this regard by forthrightly presenting its viewpoint to mobilise international opinion. Mirza Abdul Rashid (NC) wanted the Government set up a committee to go into the issue of the autonomy resolution passed by the State Government. The Centre could not reject it blindly, he said. Steps to tackle unemployment Intervening in a private members'' bill on payment of unemployment allowance, the Labour Minister, Mr. Satyanarayan Jatiya, said that Government was taking adequate measures to tackle unemployment in the country. Mr. Jatiya said the Government was confronted with a burgeoning population and had introduced various schemes to provide jobs for the people. ''Employment is not only the means for providing basic necessity but also provides confidence and self-respect,'' he said. While withdrawing the bill, the CPI(M) member, Mr. Dipankar Mukherjee, sought an assurance that the Government would consider making employment a fundamental right. The Minister said the Government was working on further measures to tackle the problem. ''Govt. facing wagon order problems'' The Government said it was facing problems of wagon procurement in the wake of the general economic slowdown as the private sector has not made enquiries under ''own your wagon and build operate lease transfer'' schemes. The Railway Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, said out of the 23,000 wagons proposed to be manufactured this year, 17,000 were to be procured by the Government and 6,000 by the private sector. While no private player has come forward under the schemes for the private sector, the Railways is also enquiring into the use of inferior steel for wagon, he said. The CPI(M) member, Mr. Dipankar Mukherjee, said the tardiness in providing orders would render the manufacturing public sector companies sick as during the last four months they have either no order or very little order. The Minister said there was a proposal to delink the enquiry with the orders for wagons. In reply to another query, he said out of the order for manufacture of 90 locomotives at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works and Diesel Locomotive Works at Varanasi, 20 locomotives have already been manufactured. - PTI


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