New Delhi: Days after naming former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as its interlocutor for talks in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Thursday said it will expedite development projects to generate more jobs in the troubled-state where some 10 lakh men and women are unemployed.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here.
“It has been decided to fast track projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) by making encumbrance free land available for the infrastructure projects including road, power and health,” a Home Ministry statement said.
The two leaders also decided to “accelerate the development projects relating to additional jobs to Kashmiri migrants, transit accommodations, transfer of cash relief or honorarium through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode and provide employment to youth of the state”, the statement said.
Sixty-three major development projects have been approved in the state under the Rs 80,068-crore package. Of this, Rs 22,042 crore have been released, according to the statement.
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the states with highest unemployment rate in the country. According to government records, some educated 600,000 men and women have registered for work with employment centres.
However, according to estimates, the actual number of unemployed youth is close to 10 lakh because not all educated youth register themselves and the figure with employment centres doesn’t include those who have not passed Class 10.
The Thursday meeting which began around 11 a.m. and went on for an hour and a half was Mehbooba Mufti’s first with Rajnath Singh after the government on Tuesday said Sharma will have a “sustained” dialogue with “all stakeholders” to solve the problems in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Chief Minister arrived here in the morning along with a team of state government officers, including Chief Secretary B.B. Vyas.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
The statement said the government decided to lay “special emphasis” for development of border areas while selecting projects under the Border Area Development Program (BADP).
“It was decided that to ensure safety of the people in border areas, construction of bunkers along the borders will be expedited.”