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J&K govt accountable for every rupee spent on ground after revoking Article 370: FM Sitharaman

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Jammu, Nov 23: Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was the biggest favour to the people for a transparent, accountable and democratised government in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the territorial administration is now accountable for every rupee that is deployed on the ground.

J&K govt accountable for every rupee spent on ground after revoking Article 370: FM Sitharaman

She further said the entire administration in the Union Territory is now visible to every person of Jammu and Kashmir to see what is going on here. "For that (bringing discipline, fiscal management and financial health of J&K), I would honestly thank the abrogation of Article 370. If that (Article 370) was an obstruction for bringing in a transparent, accountable and democratised government, we have done ourselves a biggest favour by that abrogation," Sitharaman told a press conference at Raj Bhawan in the evening.

"It cannot be about a few families. The money of the people should go to the people and it should be a transparent process. That has been achieved in J&K. I have learnt from it during the last two days," she said.

The finance minister was replying to a volley of questions about gross indiscipline of fiscal management and ailing economic health, the biggest problems faced by J&K after terrorism due to backdoor appointments, overdrafts, delayed projects, parking of money and corruption during previous governments.

"I think in the last two years (after abrogation of Article 370), the work that has happened is absolutely stunning," she said. Sitharaman said the procurements, recruitments and spending of its resources, taxation and employment of resources by the government are available online 24x7. "The transparent processes in recruitments. Even recruitment to junior-most levels has been completely rid of backdoor operations.

In a state, where probably more than 5 lakh are government employees, nearly 2.50 lakh are clearly backdoor people," she said. She further added that this kind of approach to governance is absolutely unheard of in J&K. "For that, I would honestly thank the abrogation of Article 370," the minister said. Responding to another question that J&K has recorded 22.2 percent unemployment during the current period as compared to 4 per cent during previous periods, she said several schemes have been launched by the government to ensure employment to youth.

The schemes have resulted in youth being taken back in their jobs by their employers and fresh recruitment done by new units, she said but added that it was a pan-India phenomenon. She said that after abrogation of Article 370, the economy was not affected at all in the UT. "On the contrary, post abrogation, there is fervour to complete all pending projects in UT also. Today, I was astonished to know that a project started in 1979 is getting completed now." Not only old projects but new activities are taking place at a fast pace, she said. PTI

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