Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Jammu and Kashmir Government announced a special soap for the college going girl students “to make them independent”.
Addressing a presser here at Banquet hall, J&K FinMin Economist Dr Haseeb A Drabu said that keeping in view that J&K has woman chief minister for the first time in its history, the government has taken many women specific initiatives. “College going girl students will be given 50% subsidy on purchase of a Scooty,” he said. “The idea is to make them independent in mobility.”
Dr Drabu, during his second budget as J&K FinMin, said also announced Rs 500 Crore for special buses exclusively for women folk of Jammu and Kashmir.
Explaining the measures and initiatives his government is taking to eradicate the unemployment from J&K, Dr Drabu said, “we have tried to boost and invest in areas having potential of generating employment.”
He said that it was after ten years that his government announced new industrial estates and Rs 10 crore have been allocated to each new such estate.
“We have focused on IT sector and entrepreneurship,” he said, “we have identified top ten IT firms with whom we will go for joint ventures.”
Further, he said, “it is for the first time that any government in J&K has allocated funds for police department.” “I kept Rs one lakh each for 193 Police Station for cost of investigations,” he said, “the idea is that people from no onwards will not be paying for fuel and other charges during investigation by police.”
Observing that the issue of 61000 casual and contractual employees is a social issue, Dr Drabu said, “this budget has tried to accommodate their concerns. It is an issue of 61k families not of finances only.”
Deciphering the financial position and planning in distribution of money in various developmental initiatives, Dr Drabu said, “we tried to do frame this budget on normative basis. Since funds there was inequality in funds distribution for same work, we tried to fulfil that gap.”
Casting an example, he said, “what governments have been doing is allotting Rs 10 Cr for sub-district hospital in one area and Rs 60 Cr for similar type of hospital in another area which is technically wrong and we have tried not to do that.”
When asked whether J&K Government was dependent on Union Government funds, he said “technically not.”
“J&K has its own resources but then there are modalities through which states get share from Union resources which is their right,” he said, “there is Finance Commission which works on the basis of Constitution of India and allots money to states because the resource which belongs to Union Government originally belongs to a particular place, therefore, the revenue thus generated from them is to be shared between Union and state.” “Then there is planning Commission which also gives funds.”
“Operationally,” he said, “we are supposed to get fund which doesn’t mean that we are dependent.”
Seconding FinMin, Commissioner Secretary to J&K Government, Navin Choudhary said, “it is because state governments fail to utilise the share of funds in a time bound manner that they such things crop.”
He also revealed that J&K state has got two over and above plan and non-plan fund allocation from Union Government since 1947. “First it was 2003 when Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Fund was announced and I was Advisor to J&K Government then and in 2015 Rs 80000 Cr package was announced by PM.”
“These packages don’t come through any window that doesn’t mean it is dependence,” he said, “so, lot of finances come from Union government.”
Maintaining that his government “supported flood affected business men to a lot extent”, he said, “we gave interest subvention. Relief was released and more money is coming.” He also revealed that under PM’s Rs 80k Cr package, J&K Government shall be using Rs 6000 crore this fiscal.