NATIONAL

Mufti Govt. moves to implement CMP

Jammu Nov. 9. The newly-formed Jammu and Kashmir Government, headed by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, has started taking policy decision to implement the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

It has decided to establish 840 primary schools and recruit 1,680 teachers. Education has been free in the State since the time of the then Prime Minister, Ghulam Mohammad Bakshi.

The Cabinet, under the chairmanship the Mufti, proposed a comprehensive programme for the universalisation of education under the Centrally-sponsored scheme.

The focus would be on the improvement of access, retention, quality of human, financial and institutional resources to achieve this.

Cabinet sources told The Hindu that the Ministers stressed that high standards must be adhered to in the selection of teachers, since many scandals had cropped up in this regard during the previous regime. Under the new programme, Rs. 4 lakhs would be spent for the construction of each school building. The Village Education Committees would provide separate funds for carrying out repairs to existing schools. The management would be decentralised and village education committees would be constituted. The committees would look after the construction work and purchase of teaching and learning material.

Industrial development

It has been proposed to constitute a working group for industrial development. It would come up with its recommendations in six weeks and would explore the possibility of setting up fruit-based industries. The Mufti has already held a discussion on the industrial scenario with the Deputy Chief Minister.

In a discussion with a CII delegation, he asked the industrialists to launch ventures in the three regions of the State, as there were many incentives available.

On the electricity front, the Government, instead of paying the arrears, has floated new bonds. According to estimates, the State owes Rs. 1,625 crores up to March 2002 to its power suppliers.

Suppliers would be issued bonds which would become tax-free and which would mature in 15 years. This has helped the Government in writing off the surcharge in certain cases and in avoiding disruption in power imports.

Quits party post

PTI reports:

The Mufti today resigned from the post of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples' Democratic Party. He appointed his close confidant and Finance Minister, Muzaffer Hussain Beig, as acting president till the party elections were held, a PDP spokesman said.

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