NC will work for autonomy, financial self-reliance: Omar

Srinagar, Dec 12: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday asserted his party will work for internal autonomy and financial self-reliance of the state, where the over 20-year-long spell of violence has inflicted great human and financial injuries.

“We will continue to endeavour for the internal autonomy and financial self-reliance of the state to achieve the goal of peace and prosperity,” said Abdullah, addressing a public gathering at Lalpora village of Kupwara district, 125 km from here.

“Gun has inflicted great injuries to the state both humanly and economically. Our development remained at a standstill while other states went much ahead on road to progress during the period of militancy which gripped the state for over 20 years.

“We worked for restoration of peace and tranquility, took sincere efforts to safeguard human rights, reform the security and law and order machinery, to create employment opportunities for youth, upgrade road communication system, enhance drinking water facility and launch new power projects during the last about five years which have started showing encouraging results on the ground.”

Omar Abdullah said that his party fought the elections in 2008 to address the development issues and day-to-day problems of the people and made it clear that the contesting of elections will not amount to the resolution of all political issues confronting the state.

He said besides devoting fullest attention on the comprehensive development of Jammu and Kashmir in all the regions and sub-regions equitably, it worked sincerely for creating an atmosphere where under political issues could be addressed through the process of dialogue.

“We emphasized the need in this regard and extended our full support and hand as a facilitator,” he said.

Citing the financial health of the state, Abdullah said the total income from all means is Rs. 6,500 crores per year while the expenditure on paying salaries to government employees alone amounts to Rs.1,350 crores annually.

“In addition we have to bear losses on electric supply to the tune of Rs.2,000 crore and another Rs.2,000 crore are being paid as pension,” he said, adding his government has launched a gigantic power generation programme to achieve financial self-reliance and provide round the clock power supply.

He also criticized the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its leaders without naming the party. Lalpora village falls in Lolab assembly constituency which is presently represented in the 87-member state assembly by the PDP.