JK unable to harness hydel resources: Vohra

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Srinagar, Oct 8: Urging for sanction of compensatory grants, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra said the state has been unable to harness its rich hydel resources due to the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) signed between India and Pakistan and forest potential because of the environmental guidelines of the Supreme Court.

Mr Vohra said the government would urge the 13th Finance Commission to consider compensatory grants for the Jammu and Kashmir which is unable to harness its rich hydel and forest potential.

Chairing a high level meeting of the Administrative Secretaries here this morning, convened to discuss the Memorandum for presentation to the 13th Finance Commission, Mr Vohra, said that the state has certain peculiar problems and thus merits a special dispensation, being a Special Category State.

He observed that fiscal devolution to civic bodies and other measures for strengthening the Local Self Government in urban and semi-urban areas could go a long way in achieving the much needed decentralisation of the decision making process, leading to an early qualitative improvement in governance.

The Governor also called for focusing on the up-gradation grants for improving infrastructure in the remote areas, as also in the newly created districts.

He said that the social sectors like Health and Education form the main plank of the state's developmental strategy and these need to be accorded priority in the recommendations of the Commission.

Mr Vohra also directed that a mid-term appraisal of the Planning and Finance sectors of the state should be fixed for October 16 2008.

Highlighting the significance of the Finance Commission 2010-15, the Governor impressed upon the Administrative Secretaries to provide crucial inputs by October 22 so as to ensure that a fully harmonised Memorandum is submitted to the Commission within the stipulated time frame.

He also referred to the crucial need for ensuring disaster management preparedness in the state and said that this aspect should not miss the attention of the policy planners while finalising the recommendations for the Commission.

The meeting also discussed the measures needed for improving the financial health of Public Sector Undertakings, functioning of Panchayats and Local Self Government institutions, up-gradation of infrastructural facilities in the cities and towns of the State, Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) and steps to be taken for plugging of the State's revenue slippage.

UNI

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