Centre has brought J-K's economy on brink of collapse: Mehbooba11 July 2021
Jammu: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday alleged that Centre had put the resources of Jammu and Kashmir on sale and has brought its economy on the brink of collapse. 'From power projects to the sand mining sector, everything is being auctioned by the present dispensation under a planned conspiracy to smash our economy to smithereens,' the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said. She added that this administrative onslaught has already shown its impact. 'While curfews and lockdowns have caused serious dent to the economy, a series of administrative orders and laws have come as a shock,' Mehbooba said while interacting with PDP delegations from the Chenab Valley. She is on a tour of the region. The Chenab Valley, she said, is facing the worst impact of the 'sell-out' by the Union government as even the power projects which Jammu and Kashmir was capable of undertaking itself has now been handed over to NHPC. 'The Ratle power project is an example where the state-owned Power Development Corporation was self-sufficient to undertake the project but it was handed over to the joint consortium that too by minimising the share of JKPDC,' she said. She said power project construction companies were working 'like the East India company ignoring the rights of the local population'. 'I have been told that locals are being denied employment in these projects despite written agreement about the share of employment', she said. Mehbooba claimed that local contractors were getting peanuts for the works they were executing while labourers were being denied benefits prescribed under the laws. 'Situation is grave in the areas where major projects including power sector, roads and building are being executed by the big companies from outside Jammu and Kashmir. Locals are being pushed to walls while even administration was watching interests of these corporate houses instead of the general population', she said. Mehbooba added that the basic eligibility criteria for the contractors have also been changed and compact tenders were being floated in order to deprive the local contractors to participate in the process. 'The local construction companies and contractors are now forced to work on sub-lease pattern for the outside companies, who are utilising manpower, resources, machinery of locals to fill their coffers,' the PDP chief said.