Jammu: Will he, won’t he? Suspense is building over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement about the much anticipated economic package for the food-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmir Inc. is waiting with a bated breath for Modi’s big announcement about the financial package for the flood victims and traders in the valley.
“We have been waiting for the announcement for the last one year. Devastating floods have crushed us economically. Expectations are very high and we are waiting for Prime Minister to make some big announcement about the package,” Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, president, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), told dna.
“Initially we had given the loss assessment of Rsone lakh crore. But the government submitted the proposal for Rs44,000 crore. Later UN independent agency pegged the loss at Rs1.4 lakh crore which proved our assessment was right. We expect prime minister will announce at least Rs44,000 crore package for the trading community. We also hope he will announce 10 years tax holiday for Jammu and Kashmir,” said Wani.
Jammu and Kashmir minister of state for information, education and culture Priya Sethi said Prime Minister’s visit would set-off a new chapter of development in the state and further strengthen the agenda of alliance.
“Our state has got special patronage from Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and he has stood up to the expectations of the people even in trying times of flood and natural calamities… Liberal funding from the central government has ensured that the expectations of the people of the state are met in a time bound and transparent manner,” she said.
Even as the exceptions from Kashmir Inc are high, politics is weighing heavy on Modi’s visit to Kashmir on Saturday. Security forces are on a high alert following the separatist’s call for Million March to counter Modi’s rally at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium.
Curfew like restrictions was imposed in several sensitive areas in the old city to prevent march to Jamia Masjid on Friday. Thousands of security forces personnel have been deployed to maintain security and ensure peaceful rally of Prime Minister on Saturday.
All roads leading to the venue of Modi’s rally have been sealed off. The TRC grounds, where separatists have asked people to march, have been sealed off and made out of bounds.
“Everybody outside Kashmir should take notice of the fact that even a day before the proposed rally whole of the Kashmir in general and Srinagar in particular is looking like a battle field”, said a spokesman of Awami Ithaad Party led by independent MLA from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid
Official figures reveal that around 12.5 lakh families were affected by flood fury that claimed 281 lives –196 in Jammu province and 85 in the Kashmir Valley in September 2014. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah-led cabinet had approved and submitted a financial package of Rs44,000 crore to centre for providing the requisite funds before the assembly polls.