Minister of Finance, Culture and Labour & Employment, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Thursday said the district plans should be discussed by the administration with elected representatives of the people before sending them for approval to the State Government.
The Minister was speaking during the District Development Board (DDB) in Anantnag which was also attended by Minister for Public Works, Abdul Rehman Veeri and Minister for Hajj and Auqaf, Syed Farooq Andrabi, besides other officials.
“While there is no doubt that public representatives have to be involved in formulation of district plans, the district administration should also do pre-DDB discussions, get suggestions from all the public representatives and then come to meetings,” Dr Drabu said.
Dr Drabu, who is the Chairman of DDB Anantnag, said the state government has a limited budget, a large chunk of which is spent on paying the salaries of the employees, and the remaining funds need to be utilized judiciously for development works.
“Please don’t focus on money alone but execute proposals fully. Identify areas which require government’s intervention. Let’s focus on specific sectors in particular areas. In all these areas, involve local legislators because they know the ground realities,” he said.
Dr Drabu directed the officials to prepare individual budget plans for connectivity, medical infrastructure, education, irrigation and other sectors.
“Given our limited budget, we can build consensus between the government officials and public representatives to take up one sector in a particular year on priority and then work for the implementation of plans devised for that particular sector,” Dr Drabu said.
Expressing concern over lack of desired pace in implementation of decisions taken in the previous DDB meeting chaired by the then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Dr Drabu directed DDC Anantnag, Abid Rashid Shah, to do multi-review of the decisions in terms of physical targets and financial targets.
“I will expect monthly report on the progress achieved on the decisions taken today. The district administration should also do a quarterly review of the decisions so that the process of governance isn’t hit. I think the biggest tribute to Mufti Sahab will be that whatever we have committed today, is done on ground,” Dr Drabu said.
The Minister urged the Anantnag district officials to prepare a plan for building a maternity hospital in the town under the economic reconstruction plan (TAIMER) announced by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi last year. He said there is an allocation of Rs 1500 crore to resuscitate the healthcare sector of J&K under TAIMER.
The Minister also directed the Planning Department to prepare and circulate a template on ‘Model Schools’ and ‘Model Health Centres’, keeping in view the diversity of resources used to fund these initiatives. He also directed the government departments in Anantnag district to remove Russian poplars while announcing to get an MRI machine for patients in the district under the CSR initiative who have to travel to Srinagar to avail the facility.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Public Works, AR Veeri, lauded the Finance Minister for his efforts in turning around the economy of the state. Recalling the contribution of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mr Veeri said the government is committed to fulfill his vision for Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was also attended by legislators of Anantnag district who pitched the demands of people in their constituencies during nearly six-hour long deliberations held at Dak Bungalow. The Finance Minister gave them a patient hearing and promised to address the issues raised by them.
The meeting approved an annual plan of Rs 186 crore plan for the district.
Chief Engineers of PHE, R&B, I&FC, Director School Education, Chairmen of Kokernag Development Authority, Pahalgam Development Authority, besides top officials of the district administration also attended the meeting.