SRINAGAR: Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory is “slipping” into a “debt trap” as its liabilities have mounted over Rs 83000 crore.
Official documents in possession of news agency KNO lay bare that J&K’s liabilities have piled up to Rs 83573 by 2019-20- up by Rs 4513 crore from the preceding financial year.
The overall debt outstanding against J&K government was Rs 79060 crore by 2018-19.
According to the documents, Rs 13487 crore liabilities were raised by J&K in 2018-19 and Rs 11999 crore in 2019-20.
The liabilities include Rs 34291 crore market borrowings, Rs 1237 crore loans from Centre, Rs 3370 crore special securities issued to the National Small Saving Fund, Rs 3574 borrowings from financial institutions/ banks, Rs 692 crore from Ways and Means Advance (WMA) from Reserve Bank of India, Rs 27162 crore from small savings, provident funds, etc., Rs 9709 crore reserve funds/deposits (Net).
This also includes Rs 3573 crore borrowings under UDAY power bonds.
In the past, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pulled up the Jammu and Kashmir Government for rising debt burden.
The debt raises questions about the J&K government’s oft-repeated claims about fiscal discipline and initiating expenditure reforms.
It is worthwhile to mention that financial liabilities of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir have been apportioned between UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
On the recommendations of a high-level panel constituted by the Government of India in 2019, financial liabilities of Rs. 2504.46 crore were transferred to the UT of Ladakh.