Benefits of Article 370 will be beyond one’s imagination
New Delhi, Oct 23: Union minister Jitendra Singh said the benefits of abrogating the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 will be "beyond the imagination" of people after October 31 and the advantages will unfold one by one.
Addressing a public meeting here, Singh said people in J&K were deprived of many benefits and they did not even realise that they were being deprived.
"Post October 31, benefits for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are beyond the imagination of people living there and would be realised, one by one, as things unfold," he said.
While announcing the abrogation of special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the central government had said that the state will be bifurcated into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, which will come into existence on October 31.
Singh, the Union minister for the PMO, said Article 370 had pushed back J&K and Ladakh several decades and not only blocked the development at par with other parts of the country, but also created a subdued public psyche that three generations got conditioned to reconcile and live with their fate while enormous opportunities were availed by people in the rest of India.
Referring to Union Home Ministry's announcement that the government employees of the two UTs will get salaries and other benefits as per the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission, Singh said this amounted to a total bonanza of Rs 4,800 crore.
The BJP leader said this was "just the trailer" and much more will unfold in the months to come.
In J&K, where a majority of the population is dependent on government sources of income, he said, it is a huge and unbelievable relief to be provided life-long healthcare cover, allowance for children's education, allowance for children's hostel accommodation, allowance for transport, Leave Travel Concession (LTC) etc.
As for the industry and corporate sector, Singh said with the advantage of purchasing land and setting up establishment as well as residential colonies for the workers, there is enthusiasm among the big business houses across the country and potential investors overseas.
This will open new avenues of livelihood and may also check mass exodus of the youth to other parts of the country, particularly from Jammu and Ladakh regions, he said.
Referring to the benefits for the Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said the first instalment of the central grant of Rs 20 to 30 lakh each has reached to many of the Panchayats which earlier did not receive even a fraction of this amount.
At the social level, laws like the Dowry Act, Child Marriage Act are going to be applicable, he said.
Taking a dig at the Congress, the National Conference and their allies for maintaining a studied silence on abrogation of Article 370, Singh said the children of the leaders of these political parties are also going to be entitled to the same benefits.