Assembly: Hurt Gupta Criticises His Former Senior FinMin’s Budget

Riyaz Ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

Pawan Kumar Gupta
Pawan Kumar Gupta

Accusing Government of “misleading” the house, former MoS Finance and Udhampur lawmaker, Pawan Gupta Wednesday asked Finance Ministry why it hasn’t published the economic survey.

Participating in the discussion of J&K 2016-17 Budget which was presented in the state legislature on May 30, Pawan Gupta said, “because the health of J&K economy is in bad condition, the government is scared of publishing the economic survey.”

He said that the economist FinMin, Dr Haseeb Drabu has “failed to unfold vision regarding development of state”.

“It is jugglery of words,” he told the house asking Speaker why FinMin and Commissioner Secretary Finance are missing in the house.

To this MoS Finance gestured that he is present and noting the concerns raised by him. “If you can understand what I am asking, then answer me,” Gupta replied to MoS Finance, Ajay Nanda.

Reminding the government of Rs 3000 Cr fiscal deficit in state budget, he said, “it is alarming but there is no mention of the same in the budget.”

“I was MoS in last government headed by Late Mufti, and everybody of us knew it and it is not like they don’t know it now,” Pawan said. “The FinMin has kept quiet. Why? Will he answer me? No.”

Hurt, Pawan Gupta added that the FinMin Dr Drabu has talked about 1000 Cr additional mobilisation of resources. “But from where is Drabu going to arrange Rs 1k Cr?” he asked. “The only way out is taxes. Do you want to increase taxes? You are putting burden on the common man.”

On power, he said that state generates a revenue of only Rs 1900 crore from the sector. “But FinMin has lied that J&K has revenue of Rs 3500 Cr income.” “If my claims turn out to be wrong,” he told the house, “I will retire from the house.”

FinMin Dr Drabu prior to his Budget 2016-17 speech. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)
FinMin Dr Drabu prior to his Budget 2016-17 speech. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)

On increase of taxes on aviation, he said it will dent the tourism sector. “The FinMin has given flip to inflation tendencies,” he alleged.

On General Sales Taxes (GST), Pawan said, “the FinMin is confused.” “Will he go for GST?” he asked the treasury benches, “BJP will have to clear its position on the issue.”

On the initiatives taken on women front, he said that government has forgotten widows. “In the praise of CM, anyone can do anything,” he said, “what have you thought about widows? Of those whose husbands have been killed? Don’t they come under gender?”

Further, he said that PSUs of J&K have not done audits of their accounts since 1995.

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