Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that due to cost escalation, the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir is set to cross more Rs. 1 lakh crore.
The Centre has till now disbursed a total of Rs. 62,599 crore to Jammu and Kashmir under the PMDP for the state.
Earlier, Singh reviewed the progress of the implementation of PMDP project at a meeting which was attended by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, state chief secretary B.B. Vyas and officials from his ministry in Srinagar.
Rajnath Singh, who is on a four-day visit to the state, reiterated his commitment to meet every stakeholder in Jammu and Kashmir and resolve long-standing issues faced by the people of the state.
“I would like to assure this to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that not just five times, if there is a need to come visit Kashmir 50 times in a year I shall come. Whatever efforts need to be made for bringing peace and prosperity, I will do it. Our intention is very clear that we want to solve the ongoing problem in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
The Home Minister further said that the permanent solution of Kashmir issue is based on 5 Cs – Compassion, Communication, Coexistence, Confidence Building and Consistency.
Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day “goli and gali” speech, Singh said Kashmiris must be embraced and not abused.
“Even the Prime Minister said that the Kashmir problem can be resolved only through dialogues and not through ‘goli and gali’,” he added.
He said the situation is improving in the Kashmir valley and they wish to see smiles on the face of the Kashmiri people.
Speaking on Article 35A, Singh said that the government will never take any step, which will hurt the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Government didn’t initiate anything on Article 35A nor went to the Court. I assure that the government would never take step which hurts sentiments of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
After holding a security review meeting, Rajnath Singh said kids below the age of 18 would be treated in accordance with the Juvenile Act and not like criminals.
“The kids below the age of 18 should not be treated like criminals; whatever investigation needs to be done it must be in accordance with juvenile act. They must not be sent to prison, must be sent to juvenile homes,” he added.
Rajnath Singh also appealed to tourists to come visit Kashmir and businesses to invest in the region.