Adopt Austerity to Boost State’s Revenue: Lawmaker to Govt

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Bilal Handoo

Srinagar

Amidst growing inflation, it seems austerity is the new flavor of the season for the politicians. A lawmaker of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly asked the state government to vacate the plush huts for general public and tourists to boost the state’s revenue.

A query from MLC Bashir Ahmad Veeri revealed that there were about 67 huts in Cheshmashahi occupied by various state officers. On this, lawmaker Ashraf Mir proposed that the government must adopt austerity measures and vacate such huts.

“If huts can be thrown open for general public, it can reduce the tariffs in sectors like power by stabilizing the state revenue,” Mir told the council.

Replying to a query, the government informed the legislative council Tuesday that Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) has earned Rs 5.46 lakh from 40 huts at Cheshmashahi from Nov 2011 till Jan, 2012 end.

Meanwhile, in another reply, the government revealed that central ministry of tourism and culture has sanctioned three projects for restoration of Mubarak mandi heritage complex at Jammu at a cost of Rs 73.24 crore out of which Rs 16.26 crore has been released till date.

The government said that Vasuknag area falling in Gund, Qazigund was developed as a tourist village under rural tourism scheme at a cost of Rs 66.68 lakh out of which Rs 48.53 lakh has been utilized under hardware component that includes construction of hut and cafeteria, while Rs 18.15 lakh has been spent on the software component which includes organizing workshops and exhibitions.

The state government also revealed that it had provided Rs 328.96 crore for development and upgradation of tourism related infrastructure. For 2009-10, Rs 97.55 crores were provided for tourism funds. During 2010-11, the state received Rs 114.41 crore while in 2011-12, Rs 117 crores were given to the state under tourism package by centre.

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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