Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to announce a financial package for Jammu & Kashmir on August 15 during his Independence Day speech from Red Fort in Delhi, about a month after the state government said it would be unveiled.
The blueprint of the package, which could be worth over Rs 1 lakh crore, is ready and awaits just a green signal from the PM, people familiar with the matter said. J&K government had expected the package to be announced around Eid-ul-Fitr in July, according to an earlier statement by the state finance minister Haseeb Drabu. “If everything goes well, the announcement will be made on August 15. It may well be over Rs 1 lakh crore,” a senior member of the PDP-BJP coalition government told ET.
Union expenditure secretary Rattan P Wattal, according to a person in the know, is in touch with the senior functionaries of the state government including the finance minister and he visited the state as well to discuss the package.
“The announcement of the package, a very close aide of Modi said, will be made on August 15,” another senior J&K politician said.
Drabu had earlier told ET that he had held at least 12 meetings in Delhi to finalise the package. He had met the union finance minister Arun Jaitley, senior bureaucrats in the Prime Minister’s Office and several other secretary level officials. Owing to the embarrassment over the delay in announcement of the package, state politicians and government officials refrained from speaking on the record. “Let it (package) be announced first and we will celebrate later,” said a senior state government official.
The state government expects the package to include a substantial component for the 2014 flood victims who are yet to receive any compensation.