Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said he does not see achche din (good times) coming to the country through the maiden Union budget of the National Democratic Alliance government presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
"We do not see achche din (good times) yet. “And the way monsoon has played, we should not expect 'achche din' sometime soon. “They (BJP) talked about 'achche din' before the elections, but after winning the elections, they said they will have to give us a bitter-pill first to achieve achche din.
"But this Budget neither talks about achche din nor has it given us a feeling of that bitter-pill.
“(However), it has not been even two months yet (for the government), let some time pass then we will see," Omar told reporters in Srinagar.
Referring to the Finance Minister's announcement for allocation of Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion) for upgrading indoor and outdoor stadiums to international standards in Jammu and in Kashmir Valley, the CM said there were one or two things which the state was expecting from the budget, especially those related to the youth.
"When the finance minister was here on his maiden visit and I met him, I had asked him for a package on sports infrastructure and which he has accepted," Omar said.
"He (Jaitley) had talked about a hospital on the pattern of AIIMS.
“I had told him that we have super-speciality hospitals at both places -- Jammu and Srinagar.
“I had said that rather than building a new hospital, give us a package to upgrade the two hospitals on AIIMS pattern.
"We have not heard anything on that yet. We hope that when the Finance Minister has talked about AIIMS-pattern hospitals, our two hospitals will also be included," he said.
Referring to the Rs 500-crore (Rs 5-billion) package for displaced Kashmiri migrants in the Union budget announced on Thursday, the Chief Minister said he would like to know the fine prints of the package because there already was a package and the state had asked for its upgradation because the amount earmarked earlier was less.
"If these Rs 500 crores have been earmarked under a new package, then it is a good thing and I hope our migrants take advantage of it. But if it is on the past pattern, then I am sorry, this package would not benefit us," he said.
Omar welcomed the announcement of setting up of an IIT in Jammu and expressed hope that something similar would be announced for Kashmir to maintain regional balance.
"They have announced an IIT for Jammu.
“It is good if Jammu gets something, but Arun Jaitley knows the politics of this state very well. If Jammu gets something, then Kashmir too should get something.
“So, if Jammu has got an IIT, then we will wait for a similar announcement for Kashmir, so that both the regions are a part of this development," he said.
Omar said there was nothing in the budget for the industry in Kashmir.
"There is nothing and I had no expectations from them as far as industries are concerned.
“If industries have to come here, then our own people will themselves invite them.
“Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry will not put up industries here.
“They only come here for packages and once the package gets over, they leave.
"Only those industries prosper here, which our own people put up and we want to help them. We are trying to strengthen their hands even if the Centre does not help," he said.
Image: Omar Abdullah