Press Trust of india

‘Justice, democracy, development reaching everyone in J&K post-abrogation of Article 370’

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday asserted that justice, democracy and economic development were reaching everyone in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 and an environment of normalcy was returning in the Union Territory.

The minister was replying to a discussion on the Budget 2022-23 for Jammu and Kashmir in Rajya Sabha. The Upper House later returned the relevant bills, completing the approval of the Rs 1.42-lakh-crore budget for the Union Territory by Parliament.

“The various impediments which prevailed in the state for industrial development have also been removed, and the industrial promotion scheme of J&K given by Government of India has opened new doors for the development in J&K,” Sitharaman said.

Currently, a delegation from the Gulf Cooperation countries is looking at possibilities of increasing their investment in the Union Territory, she said.

The minister also noted that investments worth Rs 3,000 crore were finalised during the Dubai Expo in 2022, and cited some agreements signed by private companies in this regard.

The minister also told the House that “after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, terror activities have significantly declined, and development works are being carried out in the Union Territory.”

Sitharaman said there has been a “33 percent drop in infiltration in 2021, a 90 percent decrease in ceasefire violations, a 61 percent decline in terrorism-related incidents, and an 80 percent fall in abductions by terrorists.”

Also, there has been a 33 percent decline in the number of police and security personnel killed in 2021 over the previous year.

Further, she said there was no incident of weapon snatching in 2021 and in 2022 so far.

Sitharaman also referred to the number of militants killed, saying 180 (148 locals and 32 foreigners, including 44 top commanders) were killed in 2021.

“With these kinds of contaminants very clearly happening, the environment for normalcy and also for attracting investments are happening,” the Finance Minister asserted.

She informed that 100 percent COVID-19 vaccination of the eligible population has been achieved in J&K.


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