Centre announces additional financial assistance of Rs1,667 crore for J&K

The central government today announced a package of Rs2,437 crore for reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, which included a financial assistance of Rs1,667 crore.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley and home minister Rajnath Singh, in a joint press conference in the capital, said the centre had already released Rs2,602 crore last year to help the state in relief and rehabilitation work.

"Last year, Rs2,602 crore had been released last year. Other than this, Rs2,437 crore will be released this year," Jaitley said.

Rajnath Singh said part of the additional amount of Rs1,667 crore will be used for short term relief/ reconstruction measures for the state.

The home minister mentioned that an amount of Rs1,602 crore had already been released the from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for immediate relief to the flood affected families. An amount of Rs1,000 crore has been released as additional special plan assistance and Rs770 crore sanctioned under the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF). Thus, a total of Rs5,039 crore has been provided for short term relief / reconstruction measures for the flood affected Jammu & Kashmir, he pointed out.

Rajnath Singh also mentioned that the Border Roads Organisation has also been given directions to immediately repair the National Highway from Jammu to Srinagar.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the announcement of Rs1,667 crore includes Rs838 crore on account of pending liabilities of the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan 2014, Rs551 crore additional ex-gratia relief for repair / reconstruction of damaged kuccha houses, Rs172 crore for the tourism sector, Rs59 crore as subsidy for providing additional food grains and Rs47 crore for repair of damaged roads.

Jaitley provided details of the Rs770 crore funds sanctioned under the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF), which includes Rs570 crore for reconstruction/repair of damaged pucca and kuccha houses, Rs175 crore for damaged medical equipment and Rs25 crore for text books to flood affected school children.

The finance minister said for the long term rehabilitation package for the state, a team of senior officials of the Government of India including CEO of NITI Ayog and secretary (expenditure) of the finance, ministry will be visiting the state soon to assess damage and give suggestions/recommendations for various sectors of the state, including power, roads, tourism, education, health etc. On the basis of these recommendations a long-term rehabilitation package will be worked out.

J&K finance minister Haseeb Drabu thanked the centre and mentioned that the required assistance given by the centre will further help the people of the state.