“While the J&K govt has proposed the disbanding/closure of around 3500 govt schools, it has approved the opening of over 220 liquor vends in the new UT. And interestingly only 4 liquor vends are proposed for Kashmir as against 217 liquor vends earmarked for auction in Jammu region. What a novel mechanism adopted by the present regime to end bias against the ever- discriminated Jammu region. Is this the way to reward Jammu region which gave BJP 25 seats in Assembly Elections, both seats of Parliament besides majority of seats in DDC elections”? This was stated by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and former Minister while addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
Speaking to media persons, Mr. Harsh Dev lambasted the BJP regime over its misplaced priorities and for conversion of city of temples into city of Bar Plazas and Toll Plazas. He said that only recently the govt had mooted the proposal of closing down/clubbing around 3500 govt schools which had created huge resentment in rural and remote areas of Jammu region. And while around 2100 schools had been proposed for closure in Jammu region, it seemed to be compensated by providing around 98% of the total liquor shops sanctioned for J&K. Maintaining that the proposal to open such liquor vends in Jammu appeared to be a conspiracy against the dogra land, Mr. Singh said that the silence of BJP leaders over the issue was highly intriguing and deserved condemnation from one and all.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Harsh Dev said that the successive govts had been relying upon Jammu region for revenue generation. He divulged that the statistics provided in Assembly in response to various AQs had revealed that Jammu region accounts for around 76% of the total tax collection in J&K. “Such tax collections are raised in the form of GST, Excise duty, VAT, Motor spirit tax, stamp duty, passenger tax, road tax, registration fee, toll tax etc. And while the major part of revenue is realized from Jammu region, its share in the development and allied sectors in minimal. Even post Art 370 abrogation, the focus of the govt has remained on Kashmir and several development and employment packages having been announced for the said region with a mere sprinkling falling in the kitty of dogra land”, rued Mr. Singh.
Not only had the govt now proposed a higher number of liquor vends as a measure of resource mobilization from Jammu region, but it also installed four Toll Plazas around Jammu city with two others in the offing. The govt policy of taxing Jammu and spending in Kashmir is akin to the popular adage of “robbing peter and paying paul”. It further smacked of a deeper conspiracy. The helmsmen seemed to be scared of the Kashmir leadership and hence Jammu region is being chosen for this noxious liquor trade and Toll Plaza collections”, lamented Mr. Singh.
Maintaining that the BJP govt’s policies had sparked massive outrage in Jammu region, Mr. Singh called upon the people of dogra land to unite to safeguard its interest and its honour and dignity. The city of temples can’t be allowed to be converted into city of liquor vends and toll plazas, asserted Mr. Singh.
Mr. Parshotam Parihar (State Secretary-JKNPP), Mr. Surinder Chouhan (District President Jammu Rural) and Mohd Maqbool Malik were also present in the press conference.