Omission of relief package ‘shocking’: NC

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March 1: National Conference today expressed disappointment over lack of any special funds and the “shocking omission” of an expected relief package for Jammu and Kashmir in the Union Budget, saying it proved that PDP was in an alliance with the BJP only “for its own partisan interests”.

“PDP leaders had promised there would be something concrete for J&K in the Union Budget. Leave alone the possibility of something special for the state, there is a complete lack of mention of the state and its pressing needs in the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2014,” NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said in a statement here.

Mattu said it was shocking that MPs from the PDP had asked questions about China and Britain, and not Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing session of the Parliament.

“This is what happens when your (PDP’s) MPs apparently sell their question slots to lobbies in New Delhi and end up asking questions about Britain and China and not about J&K. Is this why PDP sent these individuals to Parliament?” he asked.

“Rather than draw attention towards the revocation of AFSPA, the revival of the state’s Tourism Industry and demand a financial package for adversely hit businessmen and traders, PDP MPs have made a mockery of their responsibilities in the Parliament,” he added.

Mattu said it was perhaps a reason that the Union Budget failed to offer any concrete hope to J&K, especially hoteliers, entrepreneurs and businessmen who lost everything in the floods.

The NC spokesperson said the Union Budget was an opportunity for the PDP to ensure Kashmir got an economic impetus through special funds that could be utilized to restore business confidence and increase the state’s output.

Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said, “It is a fiscally conservative budget,… no big fiscal surprises but lot of non-fiscal elements which make the budget important.”

The PDP leader said the budget “is growth oriented.” The focus on rural areas and agriculture sector is “significant.”

Drabu, however, added that it was “not a terribly growth oriented-budget” as far as corporate sector is concerned.

CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said, “The budget reflects rosy figures and is devoid of any relief for the common man. It is a routine exercise of rhetoric,”.

The Kulgam MLA said that as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, the union budget has “abysmally failed” to provide succour to the people of the state.

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