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Kashmir budget proposes free schooling for girls

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  31 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Srigar, May 30: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday announced special budgetary initiatives for women that include school fee waiver up to Class 12, and a reserved quota of industrial land for female entrepreneurs in the industrially backward state. Presenting his second budget in the state assembly here, Fince Minister Haseeb Drabu said the women-specific initiatives were envisaged “in deference” to Mehbooba Mufti — the first woman chief minister of the state.

“I propose that the government waive off the fee of all girl students in the state government-run educatiol institutions up to the higher secondary level,” Drabu said. The fince minister in his budget speech also proposed that “10 percent of industrial estates shall be reserved for women entrepreneurs” in the state. He said if an allotted piece of land reserved for women entrepreneurs in an industrial estate was transferred, “it shall be (given) to an enterprise which is incorporated in the me of a woman and has women as the majority shareholders as directors”.

To encourage women’s start-ups in the state, the minister also proposed two entrepreneur development centres — one each in Srigar and Jammu — to “help, guide, and train aspiring women entrepreneurs” in the state. The fince minister also committed Rs.5 crore for “women only” city bus services which began in Srigar recently. The minister also announced that the government would set up four new women’s police stations in Pulwama, Kupwara, Kathua and Udhampur. He said he proposed constructing exclusive toilets for women in all state-run hospitals and health centres of Jammu and Kashmir. Currently, only major state-run hospitals have separate toilets for women.

Healthcare is set to get cheaper in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government proposed tax exemption not only for hospitals but extended it to health clubs, gymsiums, fitness, wellness and slimming centres also. Presenting his second budget in the state assembly here, Fince Minister Haseeb Drabu said “the category of new exemptions” was being introduced to promote “overall wellbeing — health, entertainment, environment — of our people”. (IANS)

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