April 2018 News

State Must Focus On Revenue Generation In Key Departments

10 April 2018
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Amir Karim Tantray

Srinagar: While Jammu and Kashmir is facing fiscal deficit, the state has failed to increase revenue generation in major departments. The departments where the state government has a potential of high revenue generation are horticulture, tourism and power but so far, these haven't performed well. One such department where the government can take lead is the Power Development Department (PDD). The Jammu and Kashmir Government is spending a whopping Rs 6,000 crore annually on purchasing power and an additional Rs 2,000 crore on paying debt. Whereas revenue generation in the Power Development Department is around Rs 1,200 to 1,500 crore only, the state government has to spend from its coffers to pay the debt, which is accumulating every passing year, thus putting the state under burden. 'The government needs to focus on revenue generation in the Power Development Department by putting the house in order without losing much time. This is the department where theft is high and transmission and distribution losses add to the woes,' said a senior administrative officer of the department, wishing anonymity. 'The Finance Minister has to take lead in addressing the issue with the help of officials and make a long-term plan so that electricity thefts are prevented,' he added. In 2016-17, the government had spent a whopping Rs 12,000 crore on power purchase and liquidating past liabilities for supplying electricity to consumers. J&K has to take debt loans every year to meet the demands and run the state without affecting the livelihood of people. Instead of spending on small areas where revenue generation scope is very less and which cannot help the state come out of the quagmire, the Finance Ministry has to take bold steps immediately so that the state doesn't fall into more debt.