NEW DELHI: A second batch of 40 Union ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir in April after the Budget session of Parliament ends. The Budget session will reconvene on March 2 and conclude on April 3.The second outreach by the government is likely to be a bigger and “more fruitful” exercise than the first visit made by 37 ministers in January, government officials said on Wednesday. They added that each minister will be assigned a different district, not to have any overlap like during the first visit. Focus this time will be on 10 districts of Kashmir, a source said.
During the visit, the ministers are also expected to follow up on developments that would have occurred since the first batch of ministers visited. The first batch of 37 ministers who visited Kashmir from January 18 to 24 submitted their report to the Prime Minister’s Office. They submitted two sets of feedback — one on the initiatives taken by the Union Territory’s administration and the other on the Centre’s initiatives. Sources said that the exact timeline of the visit is yet to be prepared but the visit is scheduled to take place after the Parliament session ends.
“Since Parliament session is from March 2 to April 3, the visit is likely to be scheduled in April,” an official said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his office are likely to soon finalise the list of ministers for the visit, according to sources, who added that each minister will be assigned a different district. Therefore, no minister will have any direct contact with others.
The district magistrate of each district will also give a detailed account of development works being done in the area to the minister concerned, another source explained.The ministers will also look at the rate of project implementation after the Union Budget. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced `30,757 crore for Jammu and Kashmir in the Budget.“They will follow up on certain schemes that were inaugurated earlier. A deadline was chalked out for developmental projects. The ministers will follow up on the progress. This visit will be even more fruitful than the first visit as the ministers will get more time to asses government initiatives in J&K,” said a source. Sources said Centre is also keen on the upcoming investors’ summit in April. A source added that “investors will be accommodated in government land. Only with new investments, new job opportunities can be created”.