Srinagar: With diverse views on some of the contentious issues, a new coalition government headed by People's Democratic Party veteran Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today took over the reins of power in Jammu and Kashmir, marking the maiden entry of Bharatiya Janata Party in the state government.
Here is the full text of the common minimum program agreed upon by PDP and BJP.
This document set out the Agenda of the Alliance between the J&K People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It will be the guiding framework for governance of the coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) for the next six years.
1. In the recently concluded J&K State assembly elections, 2014, the people of the State have voted overwhelmingly and in favour of the democratic system. This shows a growing recognition and acceptance among people that participating in the free and fair electoral process is the only option.
2. The results of these elections have been judged as fractured and indecisive by everyone. The reality is that it is not the mandate of political parties that is fractured; it is the polity of J&K that is fractured. Instead of being judgmental about these electoral results, the PDP and the BJP have made efforts to understand the verdict in all its complexity.
3. The reality on the ground, even if complex and complicated, needs to be faced politically not numerically. That is the real challenge. The PDP and the BJP have decided to bring together their political and legislative resources to convert this complex challenge into an opportunity.
C. Purpose of the Alliance:
4. The PDP and the BJP have entered into a “Governance Alliance” based on an agreement and agenda which is an effort towards seeking a national reconciliation on J&K.
5. The purpose of this alliance is to form a coalition Government that will be empowered to catalyse reconciliation and confidence building within and across the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K thereby ensuring peace in the state. This will, in turn, create an enabling environment for all round economic development of the state and prosperity of the people.
6. The raison d'etre of this alliance is to provide a stable and a representative government in J&K which:
a. Respects the mandate given by the people
b. Strengthens the institutions and widens the ambit of democracy through inclusive politics
c. Provides smart governance
d. Brings about self-sustaining and balanced development across all three regions of the state
e. Creates conditions to facilitate resolution of all issues of J&K
7. In a situation where socio-political aspirations and grievances of the people have wide ranging differences, economic development on its own can neither bring about peace nor prosperity.
8. Nor can a political process get us where we want to be if it is unaccompanied by tangible material, economic and financial initiatives, resulting in sustainable economic development.
9. As such, sequencing the two and striking the right balance between them will create a virtuous cycle of peace and prosperity that will accord a normal life to the coming generations, especially those regions who have lived in perpetual strife and conflict.
10. While recognising the different positions and appreciating the perceptions BJP and PDP have on the constitutional status of J&K, considering the political and legislative realities, the present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K, including the special status in the Constitution of India.
D. Terms of Engagement
11. To meet these objectives and deliver economic growth with regional balance and social justice in the state, it is important to create an environment of peace, certainty and stability within which development can be engendered.
i. Governance Reforms:
12. The State Government will be transformed into a Smart Government which will be proactive, transparent and accountable. It will be reformed and redesigned to be an enabler for business and a strategic partner for long term private sector growth.
13. It shall be the mission of the coalition government to be the most ethical state in the country from the present day position of being the most corrupt state. For this new governance systems shall be introduced with national support and international expertise to provide honest, effective inclusive governance and service delivery.
14. The governance framework envisaged will include institutional capacity building and people-public- private partnership. This will enable the state to seek national and international financing for its developmental plan and projects for foreign investments in sectors like power, infrastructure, education, agriculture, horticulture, tourism and medical services.
15. Simplify doing business in the state by reducing regulatory complexities and costs, easing bureaucratic barriers and simplifying registration processes and clearances. This will also bring down the size, scale and spread of corruption in the state significantly.
16. The overall economic policy will align the economic structure of J&K with its own resources, skills and society. The economic policy will not be formulated for government's own activities but for private businesses and enterprises.
17. It will be ensured that powers and decentralization of decision making is in practice devolved to three tier Panchayats, Municipalities and Corporations. The third tier of governance will be empowered to discharge their statutory functions effectively and efficiently by giving them functional roles, fiscal responsibilities.
18. Ensure genuine autonomy of institutions of probity, which include: State Accountability Commission, Vigilance Commission, which will be re-designated as Transparency Commission, and an organization which deals with the Right to Information Act.
II. Political Initiatives:
19. The Union Government has recently initiated several steps to normalise the relationship with Pakistan. The coalition government will seek to support and strengthen the approach and initiatives taken by the government to create a reconciliatory environment and build stakes for all in the peace and development within the sub-continent.
20. The same will be pursued by taking confidence building measures, such as, enhancing people to people contact on both sides of the LoC; encouraging civil society exchanges, taking travel, commerce, trade and business across the LoC to the next level and opening new routes across all three regions to enhancing connectivity.
21. The earlier NDA government led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had initiated a dialogue process with all political groups, including the Hurriyat Conference, in the spirit of “Insaaniyat, Kashmiriyat aur Jamhooriyat”.
22. Following the same principles, the coalition government will facilitate and help initiate a sustained and meaningful dialogue with all internal stakeholders, which will include all political groups irrespective of their ideological views and predilections. This dialogue will seek to build a broad based consensus on resolution of all outstanding issues of J&K.
III. Security Matters:
23. The situation in the State has improved vastly and to build greater public confidence in its sustainability, people of the State must be able to get the peace and normalcy dividend. In this context, the coalition government will thoroughly review the security situation in the state with a view to examine the need and desirability of all the special laws being applied to the state in view of the situation which is improving.
24. While both parties have historically held a different view on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the need for it in the State at present, as part of the agenda for governance of this alliance, the coalition government will examine the need for de-notifying ‘disturbed areas'. This, as a consequence, would enable the Union Government to take a final view on the continuation of AFSPA in these areas.
25. All lands other than those given to the security forces on the basis of lease, licenses and acquisition under the provision of the Land Acquisition Act shall be returned to the rightful legal owners, except in a situation where retaining the lands is absolutely imperative in view of a specific security requirement. In any case, monetary remuneration, be it in the form of rents or compensation should be made fairly at market rates.
IV. Social & Humanitarian Initiatives:
26. Protecting and fostering ethnic and religious diversity by ensuring the return of Kashmiri Pandits with dignity based on their rights as state subjects and reintegrating as well as absorbing them in the Kashmiri milieu. Reintegration will be a process that will start within the state as well as the civil society, by taking the community into confidence.
27. For the deprived groups, the coalition government will:
a. Work out a one-time settlement for refugees from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir of 1947, 1965 & 1971
b. Take measures for sustenance and livelihood of the West Pakistan refugees
c. Extend all benefits accruing to the people living on the LoC to the people living on the International Border
d. Make the families of the victims in cross border firing qualify for benefits given under SRO 43
e. Construct shelters in vulnerable areas on the LoC and the International Border to prevent loss of life
f. Give ST status to Kollis, Chopans and Paharis
g. Create a Scheduled Tribe Ministry for the welfare of the STs
h. Constitute a delimitation Commission for the delimiting of Legislative Assembly Constituencies as required by law
V. Developmental Agenda:
28. In order to address the real source of J&K's fiscal problem and pave the way for making J&K a fiscally autonomous state, the State Government will work with the Union Government to:
a. explore modalities for transfer of Dulhasti and Uri hydro power projects to J&K as suggested by the Rangarajan Committee Report and the Round Table reports
b. secure a share in the profits of NHPC emanating from J&K waters to the state government
c. revise all royalty agreements
d. allot a dedicated coal mine in Madhya Pradesh to J&K with coal reserves of not less than 150 MMT for setting up a pit head thermal plant with equity support from Government of India
e. restructure and strengthen the Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited as a holding company for all hydro power projects in the state
f. ensure J&K a share in one of the six Ultra Mega Thermal Power Projects
29. Formulate regional development plans to ensure that each region has a specific and focused economic activity that spurs development in the sphere of crafts and tourism, hydro-power, non-conventional energy, wind energy, bio technology, agriculture, manufacturing, and trade.
30. Institute a system of criteria based allocation of financial resources across all 3 regions. This will be done to ensure equitable distribution and balanced development.
31. In addition, some key developmental initiatives will be:
a. Creating model business villages. For example, to build a Model Basmati Village in Jammu and a Model Apple Village in Kashmir
b. Developing two mega cities: Greater Srinagar and Greater Jammu. Along with that develop two satellite cities of New Srinagar and New Jammu.
c. Upgrade all towns with population size class of 30,000 to 99,999 into cities
d. Facilitating growth of panchayat economy through promotion of panchayat tourism and e-commerce of local produce
32. Develop Jammu as an independent tourism circuit with specific plans for :
a. Suchegarh – Samba – Hiranagar border tourism,
b. Katra – Patnitop – Bhadarwah sector, Parmandal – Utterbeni – Surinsar- Mansar sector,
c. Katra – Majalta – Billawar- Basohli sector,
d. Bani – Sarthal- Jai circuit and Rajouri – Poonch ( seven lakes) sector
e. Enhancing connectivity by building Basolhi-Bani-Badherwah road.
33. Rebuild shah-e-khas as a heritage destination by dovetailing craft, heritage and tourism
a. Making Dal lake a world heritage site
b. Develop, preserve, and promote the Dogra Heritage and Ladakh's Hemis festival.
36. Till such time the new development paradigm takes shape and yields fruits, the Coalition Government will take specific measures to ease day to day life which includes: Rehabilitation and Relief for the Flood Affected victims and their families : The Government of India (GoI) must fully fund the rehabilitation and reconstruction plan.
a. Include Srinagar and Jammu in the Smart Cities announced in this year's budget
b. In the allotted budget of Rs. 2,000 crores as part of urban renewal, GoI must include Jammu and Srinagar
c. For a period of 5 years classify all commercial bank lendings in the state as priority sector lendings
d. Debt waivers or write-offs that banks offer to the flood victims to qualify under the CSR expenditure of corporate organisations mandated under the companies act
e. Subsidized rate of interest on all “rehabilitation and reconstruction loans”
f. Debt relief for Kisan Credit Card and Artisan Credit Card holders
g. A set of special fiscal and financial incentives will be sought from the Union Government to support and strengthen industry and tourism in the state
h. Improved power supply throughout the year
i. Adequate provisions of ration in all rural and semi-urban areas even if on a no-profit and no loss basis
j. A special fully funded Employment package for educated and semi-skilled youth for engendering:
I. 100% female literacy
II. 100% Primary Health Care
37. A special initiative in the form of a Prime Minister's Regional Development Plan to catalyze sub–regional development by:
a. Earmarking 2 per cent of revenues from hydro power for the development of the Chenab region
b. Setting up of a new specialized high tech IT park and Bio tech parks in Jammu, and Pir Panchal.
c. Food and Textile park in Kathua district
d. Setting up of a Mega fruit mandi in Kashmir
e. Setting up a super speciality, AIIMS in the valley.
f. Constructing a tunnel on the Mughal road for better connectivity and alternative routing
h. Developing a Ring road around Jammu city for decongestion of traffic
h. Develop Ranjit Sagar, Mansar, Wular and Suruinsar lakes
j. Cleaning and beautification of the Jehlum and Tawi on the pattern of Ganga
k. Special water bodies plan to preserve identified water bodies in Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh
l. Cleaning, revival and preservation of Doodh Ganga and Chenab rivers
38. There shall be a steering committee comprising of the President of PDP and BJP, and four members each from the parties for overseeing the implementation of the Common Minimum Program.