By: Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Srinagar: As per Centre’s Jammu and Kashmir outreach program, the schedule of 10 ministers visiting Union Territory has been finalised, while 60 other Union Ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir over the next nine weeks.
Apart from the ministers, 13 Parliamentary Standing Committees (around 300 MPs) have already visited J&K, while Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla was on a week-long tour of Ladakh and Kashmir.
Sources told news agency KINS that the central ministers are visiting Jammu and Kashmir following a directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wanted an assessment of the various welfare schemes being implemented in the Union Territory.
“The ministers will assess the ground situation and interact with the locals regarding various development schemes” sources maintained.
“All the mantris will give suggestions on what steps can be taken to further enhance the development activity by the Centre,” a senior functionary in the government told KINS.
Sources said that at least 10 of them will make their visits over the next seven days.
The Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and his deputies – Kailash Choudhary and Shobha Karandlaje have recently visited the Union Territory.
Sources said that others visiting UT are junior Tourism Minister Ajay Bhatt junior Minority Affairs Minister John Barla and junior Communications Minister Devusinh Chouhan.
“Also junior Parliamentary Affairs Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal , junior Commerce Minister Som Parkash and junior Social Justice Minister Krishan Pal will also visit,” sources said.
Sources said that two senior cabinet members are also likely to visit the UT next week.
MSME Minister Narayan Rane and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda will also visit.
Sources said that Ministers will be visiting rural and urban and semi-urban areas respectively.
As per the sources, the Ministers on their return to New Delhi after visiting different parts of the Union Territory will submit their reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office just like 2020.
In January last year 36 Union Ministers visited Jammu and Kashmir.
This is the second large-scale outreach effort by the centre since it scrapped Article 370 in August 2019.