Unveiling the Jammu and Kashmir budget Thursday, Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu had something for all — from government employees and pensioners to public sector undertakings, industry, traders, hoteliers, transporters, orchardists, students and even transgenders.
Buoyed by a more than expected increase in revenue receipts and a surplus of more than Rs 1,300 crore in hand, the minister proposed to spend Rs 80,313 crore in the coming fiscal, including the highest ever Rs 29,128 crore as capital spending. For this, he proposed to borrow about Rs 9,000 crore from the market.
Tax revenues, estimated at Rs 9,931 crore, crossed Rs 10,000 crore from the state’s own collection, he said, adding that liabilities have come down from Rs 11,000 crore to Rs 3,600 crore in the last three years.
Drabu reiterated the government’s commitment to implement 7th Pay Commission recommendations from April 1, adding that these will be effective from January 1, 2016. He also announced release of 1 per cent dearness allowance due to employees from July 1 last year.
The government will consider providing suitable incentive in lieu of pre-GST 2 per cent CST exemption in industrial units.
Pointing out that hotels and resorts will have to pay the same power tariff as is applicable to industries from April 1, Drabu proposed to contribute one-third of total interest payment of all industrialists and businesses who have taken loans from banks and who suffered in the 2014 floods, besides a one-time waiver of all soft bank loans advanced under the PM’s 2014 package. He also proposed waiver of interest and penalty on power tariff arrears of industrialists, hoteliers, resort owners and small industrial units.
Announcing 1 lakh insurance cover for families living below poverty line, he proposed to treat every transgender as BPL unless indicated otherwise, saying that they will be entitled to government amenities and programmes.
First separate panchayat budget presented
Jammu: Proposing a new framework for financial empowerment of panchayats to make them a potent instrument of development, Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu on Thursday presented Jammu and Kashmir’s first separate panchayat budget in the Assembly.
He proposed constitution of a State Finance Commission, the composition and terms of reference of which shall be notified shortly. Based on the panel’s recommendations, which will be co-terminus with recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, rules, regulations and modalities to receive funds, their utilisation and accountability by every panchayat will be worked out by the Finance Department, he said. ENS