BUDGET 2011-12: 10% DA For Employees7 March 2011
Jammu: The government Monday announced slew of sops to woo more than six lakh state employees in its zero-deficit budget for the year 2011-2012. Presenting the 94-page in Legislative Assembly, Finance Minister, Abdur Rahim Rather announced release of 10 percent Dearness Allowance (DA) of July 2010 along with salary-pension of April 2011 to the employees and pensioners.Furthermore, arrears from July 2010 to March 2011 will be credited in GPF accounts of employees while the pensioners will get 10 per cent increase in DA along with arrears in cash during the next financial year. “The total financial implication on account of this installment of DA for employees and pensioners shall be Rs 700 crore annually. Besides, additional Rs 500 crore shall be involved in payment of arrears,” he said, implying that employees remain a priority for the coalition government. While announcing wage hike for daily wage employees from Rs 110 to Rs 125 per day, the finance minister maintained that senior pensioners who attain age of 90 years and those between 80-90 years by April 1, 2011 will get 50 per cent of their pension revision arrears in one or two installments respectively. “The non-plan salaries and pension of employees has gone up at Rs 14011 crore including Rs 525 crore for payment of Pay-Pension Revision Arrears installment.” Rather asked the government employees to appreciate government’s position and respond by “rendering sincere, honest and dedicated services to public.” Stressing on the importance of agriculture sector for sound financial health of the state, he said Agriculture Policy was being finalized by the government to increase productivity and profitability. “We have taken number of initiatives in agriculture sector like the General Sales Tax (GST) by 10.5 per cent would be exempted for Green Houses to promote agriculture, horticulture and floriculture business. 100 per cent subsidy of VAT component on micro-irrigation systems,” he said. The finance minister also announced VAT exemption on food grains for another one year, on pestsides, insecticides and weedicides. “Massive efforts are on to increase the see Replacement Rate from 10 per cent to 25 per cent through research based extension programme. A central project of Rs 372 crore for the rejuvenation of Saffron cultivation is underway,” he said. To improve the condition in power sector, Rather said ‘Bijli Adalats’ would be started so that disputes with customers are settled and electricity dues are realized with ease. “The Bijli Adalat would start functioning from next year. I urge all the bonafide consumers to come forward and actively participate in these adalats and take full benefit of the scheme,” he said. The finance minister added that an ‘Open Access Power Scheme’ was launched to benefit the bulk consumers- industries and other commercial ventures. “Government proposes to start implementing this scheme from the next financial year on pilot basis,” he said. The FM maintained that J&K Electricity Act 2010 enables the government to promote open access power purchase approach for customers. “Under this provision, bulk consumers can approach an outside supplier of electrical energy to meet his demands with the permission of and under a proper agreement with the Transmission Utility which, in our case is the State Power Development Department,” he added. As part of structural reform operations aimed to wade off long pending over draft liabilities of the state government in its official account with J&K Bank, Rather said, the coalition government has signed a supplementary agreement with Reserve Bank of India authorizing it to carry out the responsibility of our cash management as well. “Under this arrangement, J&K Bank will continue to deal with the accounts of the state government in the same manner as it has been dealing in the past, through the availability network of the government treasuries but with the added advantage of RBI supervision and expertise,” he added. As the state’s annual plan for financial year 2011-12 is yet to be finalized by the Planning Commission of India, Rather projected state plan outlay as Rs 6600 crore and PMRP at Rs 1200 crore. He added the Plan Revenue Expenditure (PRE) estimates has reached Rs 1178 crore while the Plan Capital Expenditure (PCE) is Rs 6622 crore. He said the total budgetary receipts have been projected at Rs 31212 crore for 2011-12 indicating an increase of 20 per cent over the current year’s budget estimates figure of Rs 25984 crore. As the estimates of total receipts were at Rs 31212 crore, the estimates of total expenditure were at Rs 21212 crore, which proves the annual budget for year 2011-12 is zero-deficit budget. BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS • Daily Wage rate hiked from Rs 110 per day to Rs 125 per day wef 01.04.2011 Rs 40 Cr for Employment & Welfare Programme for Youths. • Rs 50 Cr for restoration of damaged infrastructure in Leh, Kargil. • Rs 6 Cr subsidy for 1000 Sheep Units in private sector. • Rs 22 Cr to support empowerment of women in the State. • 100% subsidy of VAT component on micro irrigation systems i.e. Drip, Sprinkler systems. • VAT exemption on food grains for another one year. • VAT exempted on pesticides, insecticides and weedicides. • Toll exempted on milk animals to promote dairy industry. • Toll exempted on animal and poultry field to encourage local production of poultry and sheep. • Toll exempted on beehives and colonies. • Central project of Rs 372 Cr for rejuvenation of Saffron cultivation. • Total GST exemption on room rent extended till March 2012. • Passenger tax on ordinary buses excluding Luxury and Video Coaches reduced from 300 per seat to 250 per seat per annum. • Rs 10 Cr for interest subsidy to boost Handicrafts Sector. • VAT on tobacco and tobacco products up from 13.5% to 25%. Toll on raw tobacco hiked by Re 1- kg. • Services like construction of commercial complexes and colonies, TV-Radio programme production, Architects- Interior Decorators, Chartered Accountants and Advertisement Hoardings brought in tax net.