#JKBudget2018: NC’s Rana takes potshots at Drabu’s budget proposals

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Tahir Bhat

Jammu

National Conference Leader and MLA Nagrota Devender Singh Rana on Friday termed this year’s budget presented by Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu is just a jugglery of figures lacking direction and focused attention on key sectors of the state economy.

Taking part in the debate on the budget presented by Finance Minister Drabu Thursday this week Rana said “feel good factor generated by the government in the name of GST has not worked well.”

Devender Singh Rana identified some of the shortcomings in the proposed budget and suggested ‘areas of focus’ to cover the remaining sectors/sections.

He asked of focused measures for employment generation, agriculture sector, capacity building, power sector among others.

He said that proposal of Rs 200 crore under NABARD for taking up major Water Supply Schemes in next year is not sufficient to cater the demand. He pleaded for manpower audit, setting up of industrial units in rural areas and adequate funds for development of infrastructure in key sectors.

Further, he said that the new Financial Expenditure System for Budget allocations introduced with the last budget to streamline departmental spending has not achieved efficiency yet and asked for giving more direction to administration functionaries for attaining its objectives of the initiative.

He alleged the agriculture sector has totally ignored by the finance minister during this budget.

Rana said that the government sacrifices Jammu and Kashmir’s own economy after implementing GST in the state.

Rana complimented the Finance Minister for the employee welfare measures introduced in the Budget, and for showing interest in uplifting the state’s official language Urdu and also urged him to take steps to recruit Urdu teachers in the state as promised earlier.

He also asked for Finance Department’s intervention and support to the Social welfare department to remove bottlenecks being observed in the timely dispersal of widow pensions.
He said that Drabu was taking indirect control of Panchayat as he has announced a separate budget for it. “The Muhafiz scheme is an old one and just its name has been changed.”

“I am very sorry, at least be honest to CM,” he told Drabu. “Muhafiz scheme is something which has happened for construction workers in past.”

Reminding Finance Minister Drabu that he claims to have presented a budget with scope for investment, employment generation, infrastructure development but the same are missing.”

Alleging that the government does not explore the options of knowledge economy which would have opened doors for industrial expansion Rana said “mapping of the assets a commitment for the last three years is showing no headway.”

Rana said that enhancement in wages for unskilled labours is a good step but it should be increased up to Rs 350 as was given by the central government.

Lamenting that the liabilities of contractors are rising and deserve immediate attention of the government, Rana said claims of the government about reducing the liabilities are a hoax.

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