Several members today took part in General Discussion on Budget 2018-19 in Legislative Assembly and expressed their opinions, suggestions, and concerns on the Budget proposals.
Initiating the discussion, MLA Raja Manzoor hailed several initiatives introduced in the Budget including the decision of implementing 7th Pay Commission recommendations, release of 1 percent DA to the employees, abolition of toll tax at lower Munda and Heerpur, waving off the interest and penalty on power arrears by industrialists, hoteliers, and tourist resort owners besides other new initiatives.
Raja Manzoor congratulated the Finance Minister for making procedures simple and easy for the release of GPF payments to the pensioners and the employees and for coming up with a proposal to create the corpus of Rs 12000 crore for GPF payments in the future.
Mohammad Shafi Uri while taking part in the discussion said the Finance Minister has not mentioned about the progress and achievements of the commitments and targets set in the previous budget. Observing that this year the government has mentioned only the horticulture industry in the budget, he urged the government to include agriculture also in their priority sector while framing various welfare schemes as the majority of the people are directly or indirectly dependent on the agriculture sector in the state.
Legislator Rajesh Gupta praised the Government especially the Finance Minister for presenting a pro-people budget and said it is aimed to put back the state’s economy back on the track as it was derailed owing to the situation in past 3 decades.
Terming the budget proposals as growth oriented, Rajesh Gupta further said that every section of the society has been taken into consideration in the budget. He also hailed the government for announcing incentives to the officers and officials posted in far-flung areas of the state.
He thanked the government for various reformative measures taken in budget proposals and said that the Government has announced refund on SGST value edit but it should be on refund on the invoice.
Nawang Rigzin Jora while taking part in the discussion expressed concern over the negative portrayal of Kashmir in prime-time debates and said that it has badly affected the tourism of the state.
He observed that there has been the decline in the overall contrition of GDP from Primary sectors including agriculture as it has witnessed downfall in past and no mention has been made about the growth of agriculture in the state.
He asked the government to come up with strong initiatives dealing with the concern of growing unemployment in the state in future. He also appreciated the government for implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations for the employees.
Shah Mohammad Tantray said that the budget is a sincere and honest effort to bring the economy back on a right track and appreciated the Finance Minister for an innovative fiscal exercise. He congratulated the government for taking various welfare measures including medical insurance policy for the weaker sections.
He said that the enhancement in wages of unskilled labour is too meager and pleaded for enhancement of the same up to Rs 500. He underscored the need for taking measures for the welfare of the people living in border areas including district Poonch. He also pleaded for special incentives for the victims of cross-border shelling.
Legislator demanded the creation of avenues for setting up of industrial units in Poonch district so that the educated unemployed youth of the area gets job opportunities benefited.
He also highlighted the issues of Homeguards and pleaded for giving due consideration for their regularization.
While taking part in the discussion, legislator 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.
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 New Delhi Government.
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.
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.
R S Pathania appreciated the Government’s proposals for various welfare initiatives including the medi-claim policy for Journalist as mentioned in the Budget presented by FM in Legislative Assembly but requested for a similar initiative for Lawyers as well.
He thanked the government for implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations in the state but pleaded for enhancement of wages in favour of SPO’s. He also demanded the establishment of the restroom near the premises of the Civil Secretariat for the security personnel deployed with the legislators.
He recommended for a policy mandating Doctors trained under RBA category, to have to do work in their respective areas for at least for fifteen years, so that the benefit of government spending in training these doctors is extended to common people.
Further, he said that there is a huge potential for renewable energy in Ramnagar Constituency which needs to be explored to mitigate the power crisis in the area. He also pleaded for infrastructure development at Manesar and Suruinsar.
Hakeem Mohammad Yasin said that the Finance Minister deserves appreciation for presenting the people-friendly Budget including implementation of 7th Pay Commission, making unmarried daughters eligible to receive the pension and various other initiatives in the education sector including assistance to the students in higher education.
He also urged the government to revive the Unemployment Allowance Scheme for the youth in the state.
He urged the Finance Minister for defining guidelines for utilized of funds from various sources used in the conversion like that of CDF with MGNREGA, to check misuse of these funds.
Asgar Ali Karbalai urged the government to ensure funds allocation is in correlation with respective requirements of the areas besides, the improved infrastructure of schools in Kargil and for upgrading the status of these schools.
He demanded the establishment of a Medical College in Ladakh region and for creating a special financial provision so as to promote and encourage the Apricot industry in the region.
Further, he said Kargil has a huge potential for tourism especially cultural and religious tourism and urged the government to take steps to boost tourism in the region, besides promoting various important landmarks as special ‘areas of interest’ for tourists.
He also urged the government to allocate funds for boosting solar energy sector as Ladakh has a huge potential of exploiting the solar energy. He also demanded a wavier on KCC loans for farmers in Kargil division.