Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu on Wednesday presented Rs 80,000 crore budget for 2017-18 with focus on micro-budgetary reforms. He said that Rs 31,000 crore have been allocated for developmental expenditure with current expenditure being Rs 49,000 crore. Drabu added that the level of expenditure will be financed through non debt creating receipts of Rs 58,000 crore and about Rs 18,000 crore of borrowings.
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“Given the composition of our revenues, we have a revenue surplus of more than Rs 9,300 crore. Yet there will be a resource gap of Rs 3,137 crore for which ways and means have to be found during the course of the year,” he said in his budget speech.
Drabu, who stipulated time-frame for release and spending of money to streamline and speed up spending, said that they will release 50 per cent of the revenue and capex budget by February 10 authorizing expenditure to be made from April 1. The administrative department will ensure that the budget is communicated to heads of departments and further down to executing agencies by February 20 for procurement and tendering process to be completed by May 15.
Drabu said that the expenditure during the last quarter of next fiscal will be limited to only 30 per cent of the budget allocation. “In March, it will be limited to 15 per cent of the Budget Estimates.”
The minister asked departments to ensure that tendering process commences only after detailed project reports are prepared. He added that preference will be given to projects which will be completed within three years except the mega projects like hydel projects. Drabu spelled out an operational plan to clean up balance sheets of various public sector undertakings.
Drabu said that Jammu Kashmir Bank’s NPA have reached Rs 6,000 crore due to some lapses in corporate governance and management failures over the last few years. He proposed an equity infusion of Rs 532 crore in two tranches to help it maintain the required capital adequacy and also finance new asset growth.
The minister proposed insurance cover for public and private assets, besides agriculture to meet the losses, including due to natural calamities and “recurring violent civil strife”. He said that all departments will submit a list of important buildings that need to be insured.
Drabu proposed to set up a social security system by bringing all scholarship schemes under one umbrella and making them Aadhar linked to avoid duplication. He proposed to have Aadhaar linked registration for government jobs and employment schemes to deal with unemployment.
The minister announced implementation of 7th Pay Commission for government employees from April 1, 2018.