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Budget 2021-22 will usher in new era of development in J&K, Ladakh: Chugh

SRINAGAR: BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh on Saturday said the 2021-22 Union budget will usher in a new era of development in the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

He said there has been an increase of 137 per cent in the budget for the health sector, which has "happened for the first time since independence".

"The budget has increased from Rs 94,452 crore to Rs 2,23,846 crore. No other government has ever done it. This is a huge decision which needs to be appreciated and its biggest beneficiary will be poor people of the country," Chugh told reporters here as part of a series of press conferences by central ministers and leaders on the budget.

He said the total budget allocation of Rs 30,757 crore for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir would help boost the economic growth in the region.

Ladakh has been allocated Rs 5,958 crore in the Union budget, he said, adding that the proposal of setting up a central university in Leh will help students of the region gain access to quality education.

"The government further recognising its commitment to fiscal federalism has provided funds to the UTs targeting connectivity, rural wellbeing as well as boosting the tourism sector," he said.

The BJP leader said as a key initiative in the petroleum and natural gas sector, the announcement of gas pipeline, which has been pending for over a decade, will prove to be a big boon for the economy of the region.

"In the past, due to lack of administrative push, the project showed no progress for a decade. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will now reap the benefits of the project that will help the residents gain access to better gas connectivity and clean fuel practices, thus boosting the gas-based economy," he said.

Chugh also noted that the budget gives importance to infrastructure as many express corridors have been proposed. He, however, admitted that several projects have not been completed because of coronavirus-induced lockdown.

"The work on these projects is going on and they will be completed soon," he said.

Referring to restoration of high-speed 4G mobile internet services in J-K, the BJP national general secretary said the credit for the decision should be given to the people of Kashmir who demonstrated their basic nature of peace and ‘Kashmiriyat' over the last year-and-a-half.

"Such services are back because of what they (people of J-K) did in the last year," he said.

Chugh although evaded a direct reply when asked if statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be restored.

"The issues of every citizen of J-K are on the prime minister''s agenda. The protection of the rights, livelihood, property and culture, languages and infrastructure of the people of J-K is on our agenda. We will not let anything bad happen to the culture and language here...," he said.

He added that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi''s dream to see Srinagar move forward in "high-speed mode" like the cities of Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi.

 

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PTI