Farmers, artisans, workforce pillars of economic welfare: Omar

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 6/3/2013 11:45:31 PM

SRINAGAR, June 3: Underlining farmers, artisans and workforce important pillars of economic growth, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today said that holistic development of these sections of the society is receiving priority attention.
“While the farming activity has been kept out the ambit of tax regime to catapult agriculture production and generate avenues of employment for youth, a multifaceted strategy has been put in place to give fillip to the growth and development of horticulture, animal and sheep rearing and allied sectors”, he said adding that special schemes have been implemented to improve the lot of artisans and revive the glory of world famous Kashmir Handicrafts.
The Chief Minister said that welfare and prosperity of work force has been flagged as an important concern in the State’s development policy and new initiatives have been introduced to provide necessary economic succour to labour class.
Talking to various deputations of farmers, artisans and labour force in his Monday Awami Mulaqat schedule, the Chief Minister said that about 1.5 lakh registered labourers are being provided financial assistance of about Rs. 185 crores out of the cess money collected from various government agencies executing construction of infrastructure in different sectors of development.
The Chief Minister said that death in harness benefit has also been extended to the labour class and ex-gratia relief enhanced from Rs. one lakh to Rs. two lakhs besides increasing minimum wages of unskilled workers from Rs. 110 to Rs. 150, semi-skilled labour from Rs. 150 to Rs. 175 and those of skilled workers from Rs. 200 to Rs. 250. He said the deceased registered worker’s family is now also entitled to monthly pension of Rs. 2250 on the ‘death in harness’ pattern applicable to government employees.
Omar Abdullah told the representatives of workers that their genuine demands pertaining to the welfare of the labour class would be given due consideration. He issued directions to the Labour Department for ensuring hassle-free benefits to the workers sanctioned by the government under different schemes.
The Chief Minister while interacting with a group of artisans said that development of handicrafts and upliftment of artisans is under focus and government has taken various measures to ameliorate the lot of artisans and strengthen the handicrafts sector. He referred to the new initiative taken by his government to revitalize handicrafts alongwith development of Sheher-i-Khas focusing on its natural, cultural, handicrafts, history and heritage.



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