Jammu and Kashmir will have a better domicile policy than other Indian states, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said while meeting the Apni Party delegation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre will take all steps for the overall development of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said while meeting a delegation from the Union Territory’s newly launched Apni Party. The Union Home Minister also expressed his confidence that visible changes will be seen on the ground in the next few months.

Allaying apprehension of the visiting delegation members, he said the Central government has no intention to bring a demographic change in the region and that the government will work with all sections of the society to realize the hopes of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir at an earlier opportunity. In this regard, he reminded the delegation about the Prime Minister’s address to the nation after abrogation of Article 370 and his own speech he made in Lok Sabha on August 6, 2029. “This is also good for India’s interest as the region is a border area,” he said.

On political restrictions, the Home Minister said all decisions on relaxations are based on ground realities and not due to any pressure. He referred to steps like release of people from preventive detention, restoration of internet, relaxation in curfew and added that even political prisoners will be freed in times to come as the main objective of the government is that not a single person should die, be it a common Kashmiri or security personnel. The Home Minister assured the delegation that Jammu and Kashmir will have a better domicile policy than other states in the country and said that a reasonable Economic Development Policy will be drafted soon after a thorough consultation with experts, policy makers and others. He also made it clear that there is no discrimination in implementation of Central Laws in Jammu and Kashmir and interests of all sections will be taken care of.

The Home Minister told the delegation that soon an Industrial Policy will be announced for rapid economic development and a Land Bank has already been created. He said, for the last 70 years, Jammu and Kashmir attracted Rs 13,000 Crore and expressed hope that by 2024 three times more investment will come in the region as there is huge potential for the same and investors are also willing to come forward. This will also solve the problem of unemployment in the region, he added.

On the issues of reservation, he said that a Commission will be set up soon and reiterated that no injustice will be done to Gujjars, nomads and other communities. On the issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir Bank, he assured the delegation to personally look into the issues. He assured that issues relating to general administration will be resolved on a fast track basis. Shah said that he will also ask the Union Territory’s Lieutenant Governor to appoint a Senior Nodal Officer to meet the people twice in a week to address their grievances. He also asked the delegation to provide feedback to the nodal officers in Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Home Minister said the Central government is open to suggestions and feedback from all political parties and individuals for overall development of Jammu and Kashmir.