Jammu, Jan 11: The Jammu and Kashmir government Wednesday presented Rs 79,472 crore deficit budget laying emphasis on pro-employees’ welfare initiatives, including the implementation of 7th Pay Commission from April next year.
State Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu in his Budget speech in the Legislative Assembly said the focus will be on timely rollout of projects under PMDP to the tune of Rs 80,000 crore for development and reconstruction of physical and economic infrastructure.
Various initiatives were also announced including insurance to government properties, crops, heritage properties and various types of financial aid for workforce in different sectors.
"During 2017-18, the state government intends to spend almost Rs 79,472 crore. Of this, developmental expenditure would be about Rs 31,000 crore and current expenditure would be almost Rs 49,000 crore," Drabu said.
"This level of expenditure will be financed through non-debt creating receipts of Rs 58,000 crore and about Rs 18,000 crore of borrowings," he said.
"Given the composition of our revenues, we have a surplus of more than Rs 9,300 crore. Yet, here will be a resource gap of Rs 3,137 crore for which ways and means have to be found during the course of the year," he said.
While the total receipts are to the tune of Rs 76,335 crore, the total expenditure is to the tune of Rs 79,472 crore resulting in deficit of Rs 3,135 crore, he said.
He said in the new scheme of federal finance, centrally-sponsored schemes account for a major part of the capital expenditure budget.
"Significant resources are also committed towards meeting the required state share for accessing central funds under the CSS and for putting in counterpart share for World Bank/ADB funded projects and now the Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP)," he said.
The package caters to the need to strengthen the economic and social infrastructure and provide for balanced development of the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
"The major focus in the infrastructure sector will be on physical connectivity through upgradation of road network. All unconnected roads and hamlets will be covered through different projects," he added.
Given the prevailing situation, both receipts as well as expenditure have had to be revised downwards, he said adding that the total revenue receipts of the state for the current financial year are revised to Rs 57,522 crore, lower than the budgeted estimates by Rs 4,159 crore.
This shortfall is mainly on account of lower collection of state's own tax revenue and a reduced level of borrowings. Tax revenue is expected to register a shortfall of Rs 778 crore.
He said the non tax revenue shows an increase of about Rs 1,200 crore because the Revenue Expenditure (RE) includes contra credit of Rs 1,400 crore on account of power subsidy and otherwise, non tax revenues have done equally badly.
"Likewise, RE is about Rs 2,400 crore less than what we had budgeted for and Capital Expenditure is more or less at the budgeted level. As a result, the resource gap has increased by about Rs 1,000 crore," he said.
"Indeed, in the course of this year we have cleared liabilities of Rs 5,000 crore and hope to clear Rs 3,000 crore more," he added.
The minister said the 7th Pay Commission for government employees will be implemented in cash from April 01, 2018.
"Insurance cover be provided to serving employees of all categories in government for a period of five years. Further, it be made optional for pensioners up to a cover of Rs 6 lakh for full family unit," he said.
"The principle focus of this budget is to build system processes so that we can spend this money efficiently, usefully for the entire state and showcase a certain degree of progress and that is the key theme of the budget," he told reporters here.
Taking the state towards modern public management system, he said, "Drawing from the International Monetary Fund's classification reforms spelt out in its Government Finance Statistics Manual, I intend to give the budget structure a developmental rather than a purely administrative orientation."
He said he proposed to reorganise the 29 departmental demands for grants into four major sectoral categories: Administrative, Infrastructure Development, Social Sector and Economic Development.
"Changing the format of budget documentation and reporting is an important aspect of the budget reform process and of implementing a new framework for public financial management. I want to give it a legislative backing," he said.
The new legislative framework for public financial management will shift the onus of managing the use of resources from central control to the managers of spending departments and agencies, he said.
"We will put in place Budget Estimation, Allocation and Monitoring System (BEAMS), online computerized system to distribute the budget and to authorize expenditure," he said adding that Treasury System be replaced by a functionally aligned Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) System.
"Budget control mechanism of audit and invoice checking will be strengthened at the department level," he said adding that Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) will also come into force for online bill processing.
In bid to use working season more, the minister said the Finance Department and the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department will release 50 per cent of the revenue and Capex budget by February 10, authorising expenditure to be made from April 01.
"The administrative departments/HODs/executing agencies should complete procurement and tendering process by May," he said.
"J-K SPDC will become a debt-free company with an equity base of Rs 3,000 crore," he said adding that equity infusion of Rs 532 crore to J&K Bank in two tranches will aim at capital adequacy and growth financing as it has suffered from huge NPA.
"J&K Asset Reconstruction Company in partnership with the J&K Bank will set up. The state government is a majority shareholder in this, while J&K bank holds 49 percent," he said.
To ensure safety mechanism in view of the turmoil and natural calamities, he said comprehensive insurance scheme for nine crops--paddy, wheat, maize, apple, mango, saffron, pulses and oil seeds--against damages will be given against most natural disasters including hail, floods, draught etc.
"Sectors for insurance will include public assets and government vehicles, cultural assets like artefacts, rare manuscripts, paintings", he said.
Social security net for welfare of working class, for construction and other workers, cash credit facility up to Rs 10,000, accidental insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh, life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh, health insurance cover of Rs 30,000, with premiums will be paid by the Board on behalf of the workers, he added.
He proposed audit at all levels for manpower rationalization and revision of all recruitment rules within one financial year to synchronise job requirements with commensurate educational requirement.
Other initiatives include convergence of all student scholarship schemes, delinking of disbursement of salary from the source of funding of salary, regularisation on contractual basis of all those who have given their land to state government, change of nomenclature of government employees at lower levels, change of class categorisation among others.
He said government has proposed to set up a zoo each in Kashmir and Jammu, creation of e-commerce platform to link 20,000 artisans and weavers, 50 per cent interest subvention for setting up of modern walnut processing units, provision of Rs 5 crore to establish CFC at Lassipora, 50 percent interest subvention in bank loans to new tannery units.
Government also proposes to set up 'Aiwaan-e-Sahaafat', a Kashmir press centre, 'All Terrain Mountain Bike' scheme for boys with a provision of Rs 3 crore, a football league and allocation of Rs 2 crore, and 'Shamas Faqeer Institute of Sufi and Folk music' with an initial provision of Rs 5 crore.
"I'm deeply pained to inform the House that in J&K Bank, there have been some serious lapses in corporate governance and management failures over the last few years. As a promoter of the bank, we did make some efforts in the last two years to sort out the issues of asset quality without impairing the autonomy of the bank," he said.
"With a change in the top management and the board, the reality has now surfaced. The bank has declared NPAs of Rs 6,000 crore. There is also a significant under-provisioning of impaired assets," he added.
The minister said as a result the bank has had to declare a loss of Rs 600 crore for the quarter ended September 2016-17.
"To help the bank, I'm making an equity infusion of Rs 532 crore in two tranches. This will help in not only maintaining the required capital adequacy but also in financing new asset growth," he said.
The Minister said there was governance failure and management failure and a new management has been put in place.
"I'm happy to report that we completed the formalities for incorporating the J&K Asset Reconstruction Company in partnership with the J&K Bank. The state government is a majority shareholder while the bank holds 49 percent," he said.
"There are still some issues to be resolved with regard to CGST and IGST for all states", he said.
"As for J&K, the proposed GST law is not applicable to J&K. We will have to work out in what form it can be applied...Central excise and central sales tax, which will be replaced by the CGST and IGST respectively, already are applicable but only to goods and not services. As regards SGST we will formulate our own law and bring it to the legislature", he said.
The Minister said till such time, government proposes exemption on commodities like paddy, rice, wheat, pulses, flour. VAT remission to the local industry is proposed.