eoples Democratic Party President and former Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti Sunday said that the Union Government has put resources of Jammu and Kashmir on open sale bringing the economy of the erstwhile state at the brink of collapse.
“From power projects to the sand mining sector, everything was being auctioned by the present dispensation under a planned conspiracy to smash our economy to smithereens”, Ms Mufti said adding that the impact of this administrative onslaught has already shown its impact.
Unlike the rest of the country, she said, Jammu and Kashmir is passing through the third consecutive year of lockdown in view of massive curbs put in place at the peak of the economic season in August 2019. “While curfews and lockdowns have caused serious dent to the economy, a series of administrative orders and laws came as a shock to those that are playing havoc across the erstwhile state”.
The PDP President was interacting with party deputations from Chenab Valley, during her ongoing tour of the region, here today.
Vice President Choudhary Abdul Hameed, General Secretary Amreek Singh Reen, former legislators and PAC members Master Tasaduq Hussain, Firdous Tak and Additional General Secretary Abdul Rasheed Malik, State Secretaries Rajinder Manhas, Ashok Jogi, Satpaul Singh Charak, Imtiyaz Shan, Sheikh Nasir Hussain, Shafiq Butt, Provincial President Women Wing Surjit Kour, Vijay Dogra, Sukhvinder Singh, Dr Ramesh Salathia, Media Coordinator Choudhary Parvez Waffa, Varinder Singh, Choudhary Chuni, Shamim Ganai, Javaid Choudhary, Harmeet Singh, E Peter, Sunil Bhat, Rajat Randhawa, Rajat Gupta, Balbir Singh, Sachin Bhagat, Neeraj Chandel, Majid Shah, Nadeem Rafeeq Khan, Zulfikar Malik, Wasil Doolwal were among those present.
Chenab Valley, she said, is facing the worst impact of the sell-out by the union government as even the power projects which the state was capable of undertaking itself has now been handed over to NHPC. “Rattle 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 minimizing the share of JKPDC”, she said.
She said that power project construction companies were working like East India company ignoring the rights of the local population. “I have been told that the locals are being denied employment in these projects despite written agreement about the share of employment”, she said adding that the local contractors were getting peanuts for the works they were executing while even the 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. The locals are being pushed to walls while even administration was watching interests of these corporate houses instead of the general population”, she said.
Ms Mufti 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 utilizing manpower, resources, machinery of locals to fill their coffers”.
District Presidents Ishtiyaq Ahmed Waza, Hafeez Wani, Shabaz Mirza, Abid Ejaz and Bhupinider Pal Singh led deputations from various districts of Chenab region to apprise the party president about the problems being faced by the people at the grassroots level. Ijaz Sumbriya, JD Singh, Satpal Singh Charak also led separate deputations.