J&K continues development path as Pak-occupied Kashmir suffers budget cuts

Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

Pakistani-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is suffering from many budget cuts, with the government also favouring corrupt politicians in China invades the territory and uses the land to fulfill its ambitions. This comes in contrast to an India that is implementing several new projects in Jammu and Kashmir to meet the demands of the post-Covid economy.

The federal government in Pakistan has done everything it can to placate China, allowing their golden plan to form a sea route through PoK. Thousands of Chinese engineers and workers are deployed in PoK, reports Asian Lite International.

The PoK also remains an underdeveloped area as Islamabad treats it as a center of terrorism, while New Delhi’s policies of development, peace and prosperity have made Jammu and Kashmir one of the most developed regions in the world.

There is no comparison between PoK’s capital, Muzzafarabad, and Srinagar or Jammu, JK’s twin capitals. It’s like comparing the metropolises of Mumbai and Kolkata to a provincial city in India, Asian Lite International reported.

JK has four airports, PoK has only 2. There are 35 universities in JK and in PoK there are only 6. While there are 2812 hospitals in JK that provide free health care to people, in PoK there are only 23 hospitals, and in each one many people are dying month due to a lack of basic medical facilities and vaccines against toxins, Asian Lite International reported.

The condition of the roads in PoK is deplorable, with people falling to their deaths in traffic accidents in ravines every day due to a lack of safety infrastructure.

In February this year, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a budget of Rs 1.12 lakh crore (US$13.33 billion) for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for 2022-23. The budget aims to build the economy and create jobs in the Himalayan region.

The JK budget focuses on education, household and public health engineering, with energy development receiving the highest allocations for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

According to Asian Lite International, JK’s economy is expected to grow by 7.5 percent at current prices in 2021-22.

Four National Highway projects are expected to be completed in JK in 2022. Ten new road/tunnel projects have been agreed by the Indian Ministry of Roads and Highways under Bharatmala. The completion of the world’s highest railway bridge over the Chenab River at 1315 meters is scheduled for September 2022.

Projects under the PM’s development package have seen an expenditure of Rs 36,112 crore.

A total of 25 projects were essentially completed and a further four projects are expected to be completed by the end of the current financial year.

On the other hand, PoK’s annual budget in 2021-22 was 141 billion Pakistani rupees, which is a little over US$78.55 million.

Recently, PoK Finance Minister Abdul Majid Khan stated that the federal government cut PoK’s development budget by 5.2 billion rupees, which Khan said could lead to serious imbalances in the financial system.

The federal government in Pakistan was supposed to give PoK 49.9 billion rupees as a 3.64 per cent share of the federal tax pool (variable subsidy), but that too was cut by 4.4 billion rupees.

PoK ministers believe the federal government’s decision to cut budget allocations could uncontrollably hit PoK’s financial system and impoverish the region.

The residents of PoK suffer in silence because they are not allowed to raise their voices. The media is controlled by the government to ensure that human rights abuses by the armed forces and terrorists go unreported.

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