'Modi's Visit To J&K Will Help Take Coalition Agenda Forward'

31 October 2015
The Hindu
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: Hinting at the announcement of a much-awaited economic package for the State, Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said here on Saturday that 'the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give a fresh impetus to the implementation of the PDP-BJP 'Agenda of Alliance'. 'The people of the State are expecting the Prime Minister to take tangible confidence-building measures aimed at addressing the political and economic challenges confronting the State,' said Dr. Drabu, who played a key role in negotiating a coalition between the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier this year. On November 7, Mr. Modi is visiting Srinagar and Jammu's Ramban, where he will inaugurate a 450-MW power project. Without spelling out the details of the package, which the government sources suggest will be around Rs. 1,00,000 crore, Mr. Drabu said: 'The priority is to address alienation, especially among the youth, and kick-start a development process not only to rebuild the flood-hit public and private infrastructure but also ensure long-term economic prosperity of the people in all the regions and sub-regions of the State.' Sources said Rs. 38,000 crore had been approved for the State's power sector, which would help the government buy back two major power projects as envisaged on the agenda, a common minimum programme of the coalition partners. The State is expecting a Rs. 72,000-crore stimulus from the Centre to address infrastructure issues, mainly in the power and health sectors. The much-awaited relief for the flood-hit housing sector is part of the package. He accused the previous government of burdening the State with Rs. 9,000 crore of liabilities.