March 2000 News

J&K Budget Emphasises On Power, Recoveries

5 March 2000

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather laid stress on ''Roshini'' and ''Recoveries'' while presenting the State Budget on Monday. Focussing all attention of the Budget on power sector he pledged to pull the State out of financial quagmire and put it on the track of self sufficiency. Mr Rather proposes to create corpus called ''Roshini'' to harness the available water resources in the State to esatblish its own Hydel Power projects. The main contribution to the fund would come from the payments from long illegal occupants or encroachers of State land in lieu of propriety rights. The costs of such lands would be fixed as per existing market rates. This would be applicable in case of occupancy prior to January 1990 whereas the encroachments made on later dates would be removed. The other component of ''Roshini'' would be the sale of land alloted to the industrial units in various industrial estates. The price of the land would be fixed as per the location. Land would also be transferred on long term lease to non-state subject allottees against payment of fixed price. Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister criticised the Center for what he called signing away of State''s rights on water through Indus Water Treaty. The Treaty confers Pakistan with the rights to monitor usage of waters of the three rivers of the State - Jhelum, Indus and Chenab. In lieu of the Indian control on the three rivers - Ravi, Sutlej and Beas flowing through the neighbouring State of Punjab. He said that these rights were infringed through the treaty as the inrerests of the State were not secured . Mr Rather while presenting Budget for the year 2000-2001 also criticised the Centre for not reimbursing the money in full on the security related expenditure. He said that the Centre was not reimbursing the money spent on the migrant employees, support to the public sector units whose working was affected due to the turbulent conditions in the State for over a past decade. The successive Government at Delhi had promised to reimburse security relelated expenses to the militancy infested State. He regretted that the Centre was not even paying money in full on items agreed under the security related expenditure. He said that the Centre owes Rs.971.80 crore and these would further go upto Rs 1129.90 crore by this month-end when the ongoing financial year comes to an end. While regretting over the Centre''s attitude, Mr Rather said that the State would focus its extra attention on generation of power through waters of its rivers, the use of which is permissible even after the Indus Water Treaty. The State has the potential to generate 15,000 mws of power, while so far not even one-tenth of this potential has been tapped. The Finance Minister said that the State would also go in for disinvestment ofthe public sector units after a thorough study by a committee of experts. The other features of the Budget proposals are heavy doses of tax on new constructions with over 1500 sq. ft. plinth area to promote use ofland for non-residential purpose and check the spree of constructions. A proposal has been mooted for community participation in education where the role of parents would change from stake holder to share holder. The plan size for 2000-2001 has been fixed at Rs 2525 crores. Mr Rather proposes year 2000-2001 to be ''Year of Recoveries'' for both tax and non tax revenus which he said heralds a strong campaign for recovery of arrears. He laid emphasis on tax compliance through simplification of procedures, raising the level of enforcement and rationalisation of the structure. The disbursements during the year are estimated at Rs 9153.80 crores leaving a deficit of Rs.2032.45 crores. The receipts of the year are estimated to be Rs 7122.35 crores including Central assistance of Rs 4478.81 crores.


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