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Parl panel discusses developmental scenario, welfare schemes with civil admin officials

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Srinagar: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, which is on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday held a meeting with top civil administration officials to discuss the developmental scenario and people’s welfare measures in the Union Territory.

Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Arun Kumar Mehta gave a detailed presentation, highlighting the achievements and the functioning of all the departments of the UT, to the panel, an official spokesperson said.

The committee comprising of 28 Members of Parliament from Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha is headed by senior Congress leader and MP Anand Sharma.

Giving details about the steps taken in the last few years for democratic decentralisation, the officials informed the committee about the conduct of elections for the District Development Councils and Block Development Councils to strengthen grassroot-level democracy in the UT.

They were also informed that the region now has a three-tier democratic set up in place and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies have been further empowered.

Besides, public outreach programmes like ‘Back to Village’, ‘Jan Abhiyan’ and ‘My Town My Pride’ were conducted across Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson said.

With respect to the power scenario in Jammu and Kashmir, the panel was informed that power generation projects have been fast-paced and 2500 MW would be added by the year 2025.

The committee was was also briefed about road connectivity, and water supply and about the status of schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission and achievement of 100 per cent piped water supply to all rural schools and anganwadi centres in 18 districts of the UT.           While terming the tourism and industries as “priority sectors”, the meeting also deliberated upon the issues of industrial development, tourism sector, employment of youth and women empowerment, and sports activities.

The meeting also discussed resettlement of Kashmiri Migrants in the valley.

Commenting on the COVID-19 management in the Union Territory, the panel appreciated the mitigation and relief efforts during the pandemic and recognised the administration’s efforts and also implementation of e-office and other administrative reforms undertaken.

Earlier, the committee held an interactive session with the beneficiaries of self help groups, representatives of farmer producer organisations, high-density apple growers, and saffron producers.

The horticulturists and agriculturists representatives put forth their suggestions before the panel which assured that their recommendations would be considered.

Among other things, they also raised the issues of marketing of produce, storage capacity and cluster cold storage.

Meanwhile, beneficiaries of youth-centric schemes and programmes also interacted with the committee members and raised the demand of the establishment of skill-specific institutions in far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

The panel also visited CRPF camp of 132 battalion in the city and interacted with the officers and jawans there, the spokesperson said.

 Panel on subordinate legislation concludes its Valley visit

Srinagar: The Parliamentary committee on subordinate legislation headed by its chairman, Sardar Pratap Singh Bajwa today completed its 4-day visit to the Valley after meeting the electricity stakeholders of the country here.

Those who were present includes Joint Secretary, Power, GoI; Principal Secretary JKPDD; Secretary Central Electricity Regulatory Commission; representatives of the PSUs namely National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) limited, Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited and J&K Power Development Corporation, an official press release informed.

It said the committee members had threadbare discussion on certain rules/regulations governing the power sector of the nation. They also enquired and sought clarifications about certain issues from the officers and management of power sector in both government and PSUs.

Defining the purpose behind the constitution of this committee, the chairman said, “This committee has been constituted to scrutinize and report to the Raiya Sabha whether the powers to make rules, regulations, bye-laws, etc conferred by the constitution or delegated by parliament, are being properly exercised by the executive authorities or not.”

The committee took up for discussion the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Procedure, Terms and Conditions for grant of trading licence and other related matters) Regulation 2020 with the stakeholders. The committee sought clarifications on several points including the background or framing of the regulations, the objectives to be achieved through them, and the infrastructure set up by the Ministry to ensure due compliance of the regulations, the press release said.

The officials were encouraged to share their experiences in implementation of the regulations at ground level and what are the practical problems being faced by the stakeholders and how those are being sorted out.

The Joint Secretary, Power, GoI, elaborated that the central government is working on the “one nation, one grid and one frequency”. He said that a number of schemes are in vogue to ensure power supply to all the habitations in India.

The Principal Secretary, JKPDD informed the meeting that J&K is on the path providing reliable power supply to its customers at reasonable rates. He said that he represents customers and appreciates the liberal policy of power purchase.

The Principal Secretary also gave out that the UT is going to add substantial chunk of power to its kitty in the next five years. He said that it is going to address our power woes to a large extent.

The Secretary CERC briefed the committee that CERC was constituted under the erstwhile Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act (ERC), 1998 with primary responsibility of tariff fixation. The responsibilities of the Commission were later widened to tariff fixation, licensing, development of market, introduction of open access, specifying grid code, adjudication of disputes, etc.

He further informed the committee that the rules further empower the Commission to grant licence to undertake trading in electricity as an electricity trader. Additionally, the Commission is also entrusted with the function to fix the trading margin in the inter-state trading of electricity.

He further said that currently there is Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Procedure, Terms and Conditions for grant of trading licence and other related matters) Regulation 2020 governing the trade.

The committee consists of 15 members representing different political parties and walks of life. The other members currently on the visit to Valley includes Vandana Chavan, Dushyant Gautam, Dr Vikas Mahatme, Surendra Singh Nagar, Ram Vichar Netam, Dr Amar Patnaik, Dr Banda Prakash, GVI Narsimha Rao, Tiruchi Siva, Pradeep Tamta, and Vivek K Tankha, the press release said.

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