Srinagar, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday said the divergence of opinion in democracy and diversity of cultures is the soul of the constitution and the symbol of greatness of our country. She said lack of democracy is the common factor in all the countries around the world which are facing strife these days.
In her message to the people on the occasion of the 68th Republic Day, the Chief Minister said the noise of democracy coupled with the richness of cultures and traditions keeps India going as a vibrant country. She said though some sections of society have not yet understood the benefits of a democratic set up, strengthening democratic institutions and making them responsive, representative and accommodative is the only way with which their faith in democracy could be increased.
Terming youth as the biggest treasure of a society, Mehbooba Mufti asked them to use the benefits of democracy to let Jammu & Kashmir make up for the losses it has suffered on account of its history and geography. She said vote is the weapon in their hands with which they can change a system and make their own. “My Government is with you in this effort,” she said. The same constitution has given our State a special status and the same constitution holds key to the resolution of all other issues, she added.
The Chief Minister said youth of the State hold a special promise for us and many of them have attained positions of acclaim at national and international levels. “Be it academics or sports, administrative services or science, a healthy wave of displaying talent has kicked off”, she said hoping that these individual successes would lead to a situation where our young generation would be able to realize its dreams and materialize its goals. “Be it tourism or infrastructure, banking or horticulture, youth and their welfare is the prime focus of my Government while framing polices”, the Chief Minister said.
Appealing people to support her Government in transforming Jammu & Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said peace in the State is imperative for dialogue and resumption of friendly ties between India and Pakistan. She said peace only makes all developmental efforts possible and lets people reap the benefits of these initiatives.
The Chief Minister said that it is a matter of satisfaction that Agenda of Alliance of the present Government is being accepted unanimously as a viable roadmap to get Jammu & Kashmir out of its difficulties.
Mehbooba Mufti said her Government has formulated a comprehensive plan of transforming the developmental profile of the State. She said with the execution of Rs. 80, 000 crore Prime Minister’s Developmental Package, the developmental profile of the State is set for a positive change. She added that timely execution of the package would be a challenge for the administrative machinery but hoped that the engineers and planners would be touching new heights with the in time completion of projects under the package.
The Chief Minister said budget session of the State legislature was preponed this year to ensure availability of funds by February so that developmental works could be taken up by April and there is no disruption in fund flow for these works.
Terming employees as an inseparable component of her dispensation, Mehbooba Mufti said her Government has already decided to implement the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission from 2018 and also start a process of regularization of services of thousands of daily wagers who have been living a life of penury for decades now. Also, she said, salary disbursement of hundreds of those employees working under various centrally sponsored schemes has been delinked from the source of their funding, thus ensuring monthly release of their salaries which was an issue for them for years together.
Describing Jammu & Kashmir as a multi cultural and multi religious State, the Chief Minister said the State legislature through a unanimous resolution recently amply conveyed the sentiments of the people of the State that they want all of those, majority of whom comprise Kashmiri Pandits, back to their homes who had to migrate due to the unfortunate events of 1990s. “Whatever needs to be done by the Government would be done but our civil society has a fundamental role in ensuring that Kashmir continues to remain an abode of mutual brotherhood, tolerance and communal amity for which it has been praised time and again”, she added.
Mehbooba Mufti said her Government is working sincerely for empowering people at the grassroots. She said the Government has decided to hold elections to Panchayats and urban local bodies so that people themselves are involved in many of the developmental initiatives aimed at their welfare. She said with the launch of Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) a path-breaking step has been taken to provide food-grains at minimum rates to every citizen of the State.
Education, the Chief Minister said, is witnessing fundamental changes and the Government is honestly working to remove the inherent deficiencies in the system and making it compatible with the global system. She said now onwards by enrolling in schools and colleges students must be able to hone their skills to ensure a secure future.