Jammu, Mar 25 (PTI) Asserting that his administration has brought transparency in the system and put an end to corruption, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday said his priority is to speed up the development work in the union territory.
He said there is a law and there are agencies in the country which look into where the money pumped by the central government had gone in the past and they are doing their jobs sincerely.
'The money has come (from the centre) in large numbers in the past but the question is had the required development work taken place. We have brought transparency in the system and put an end to the corruption so that the work is actually done on the ground,' Sinha told reporters here.
Flanked by Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, Financial Commissioner Arun Kumar Mehta and Principal Secretary Information department Rohit Kansal, the Lt governor thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for Rs 1,08,621 crore budget for Jammu and Kashmir.
'This budget, which was passed in the both the houses of Parliament, is more than the previous budget and is meant for 1.30 crore people of Jammu and Kashmir.
'Bihar, with a population of 12 crore, has the annual budget of over 2 lakh core and Uttar Pradesh, with over 20 crore population, has got 5 lakh core budget,' Sinha said, emphasising that the budget is meant to rebuild economy, create jobs and secure the union territory for the future based on the prime minister's vision.
Asked whether his government plans to set up an inquiry commission to look where the money pumped by the Centre had gone in the past, the Lt governor said he had left it to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
'My priority is how the development work is speeded up. There is a law prevalent in the country and there are also agencies working. They should be allowed to do their jobs and there is no need to intervene in their working,' Sinha said.
Asked about media reports suggesting PDP youth leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, arrested by the National Investigation Agency last year, has reportedly paid Rs 5 crore on behalf of his party to Hurriyat Conference to stoke trouble after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, he said he had full faith in the government agencies and is sure that they will do their work and take their investigation to the logical conclusion. 'I am hopeful that everything will be alright and maybe that will happen what you want,' he said.
Asked about the impact of better ties between India and Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir, Sinha refused a direct answer but said 'peace is the key to development everywhere'.
'There is an External Affairs Ministry in the country and I think we should leave this question to it,' he said.
The Lt governor said the focus of the new budget is rural development, education, women empowerment, agriculture and horticulture, panchayati raj institutions, tourism, industry and sports.
'I feel the budget will pave the way for J-K to become 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant) and march with the rest of the country in overall development,' he said. Financial Commissioner Mehta said the administration had brought such a type of transparency in the system which was never there in the past.
'There will be no payment till geo-tagging of the completed work and the payment is directly transferred into the bank account of the contractor,' he said, assuring that the money allocated to Jammu and Kashmir in the budget would be utilised on the ground.
'We have completed 8,000 projects in 2018-19, 10,500 projects this year and planning to complete 16,000 projects in the coming financial year,' Sinha added. PTI TAS AB KJ