Fin Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu unveils Rs. 80, 313 crore J&K budget

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Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu today unveiled a Rs. 80,313 crore budget with multiple sops for farmers and industry while announcing the implementation of 7th pay commission from April with 1 percent DA.

It also introduced a slew of new initiatives and capital infusion in Central Cooperative Banks in the state besides various amnesties. “Despite being liberal, my budget numbers for the year 2018-19 are looking good. I propose to spend Rs 80,313 crore in the course of the year. Of this, Rs 29,128 crores is going to be the capital spending.

“This is by far the highest capital spend in the economy of J&K,” Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said in the Legislative Assembly today.  He proposed to raise about Rs 9,000 crore in the next financial year, Rs 331 crore higher than the last year.

Speaking at a press conference, Drabu said: “It is a balanced budget with aim of restructuring, cleaning up, protecting industries, the welfare of employees serving in difficult conditions, addressing youth. It is generally a budget people call it election budget”.

Compared to last year, he said, the state will finance an additional capital expenditure of Rs 3,282 crore with an additional borrowing of only Rs 331 crore. “The incremental borrowing to capex ratio is 1:10. This must be the best ratio anywhere in the country.” He said the revenue receipts position is looking even better. The aggregate revenue receipts are estimated to be Rs 64,269 crore compared to Rs 55,307 crore in the current financial year.

The state’s own tax revenue is estimated to be more than Rs 11,000 crore. “As a result, I am not leaving any funded gap in the budget this year”, Drabu said. He said that for 2018-19, the state government has decided to launch a Completion Plan for languishing bridges, schools and water supply schemes. Of the total receipts Rs 64,269 crore, Revenue Receipts are Rs 51,185 crore and Own Tax Revenue is estimated at Rs 11,194 crore, he added.

The share of Central Taxes is up at Rs 12,984 crore as against Rs 11,803 crore in Revised Estimates 2017-18, he said, adding that the Revenue Deficit Grants of Rs 12,952 crore as against Rs 11849 crore in 2017-18. Capital Receipts are estimated to be Rs 16,044 crore with total expenditure at Rs 80,313 crore. Revenue Expenditure (RE) including Security Related Expenditure (SRE) is to touch Rs 51,185 crore and Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) accounts for Rs 29,128 crores of which Rs 5,500 crore for regular capex and Rs 10,423 crore under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

Drabu said Rs 8,300 crore is under Prime Ministers Development Programme (TAMEIR), while Rs 1,077 crore to be devolved to PRIs and ULBs under 14th FC grants. “Outgo on pension including leave encashment and NPS during the year 2017-18 at Rs 5,100 crore”, he said. Finance Minister said that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current prices is estimated to be Rs 1,57,384 crore, which would be equivalent to 14.9 percent growth at current prices over the previous year.

Tax Revenue and Non-Tax Revenue is estimated at Rs 16,955 crore higher by Rs 1430 crore over the revised target of Rs 15525 crore, he added. Tax revenue expected to grow by around 10.43 percent over the current years RE, he added.

“Reforms have now set stage for meaningful public policy interventions. I can see green shoots of fiscal order because of systematic changes made so far. Fiscal deficit previously estimated at around 9.5 percent has actually turned out to be around 5.7 percent”, he said.

For Government Employees, the J&K government announced in the budget grant of 1 percent Dearness Allowance due to employees from 1st July 2017 and Committed to implementing 7th Pay Commission Recommendations from April 1, 2018, which will be effective from 1st January 2016. The Unmarried daughters of the employees, who were not entitled to receive a pension, have now been made eligible to receive pension once employee and his and her spouse is no more, he said.

The enhanced Deposit Linked Insurance of GP Fund subscribers from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Similar Scheme shall be framed for employees covered under NPS. Minister said that all the Government employees including pensioners, along with 5 family members, will be covered under improved and enhanced Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy.

Given the fact that there are 4.5 lakh employees, and about 1.5 lakh pensioners, this insurance cover extends to about 30 lakh people, he added. The government has increased the Personal Accidental Insurance from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakhs and “Assured Career Progression Scheme” for all the Gazetted cadres of engineering departments, he added.

For businesses and industries and trader, the government will consider providing an alternate incentive in lieu of CST to the industrial units in the State, he added.

(HIGHLIGHTS)

  1. Total receipts Rs. 64269 crore
  2. Revenue Receipts Rs. 51185 crore of which: Own Tax Revenue estimated at Rs. 11194 crore. Share of Central Taxes up at Rs. 12984 crore as against figure of Rs. 11803 crore in Revised Estimates 2017-18.Revenue Deficit Grants of Rs. 12952 crore as against Rs. 11849 crore in 2017-18.
  3. Capital Receipts Rs. 16044 crore.
  4. Total expenditure Rs. 80313 crore.
  5. Revenue Expenditure (RE) including Security Related Expenditure (SRE) to touch Rs. 51185 crore.
  6. Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) accounts for Rs. 29128 crore of which: Rs. 5500 crore for regular capex Rs. 10423 crore under Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  7. Rs. 8300 crore under Prime Ministers Development Programme (TAMEIR)
  8. Rs. 1077 crore to be devolved to PRIs and ULBs under 14th FC grants.
  9. Outgo on pension including leave encashment and NPS during the year 2017-18 at Rs. 5100 crore
  10. The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current prices Rs. 157384 crore, which would be equivalent to 14.9 % growth at current prices over the previous year.
  11. Tax Revenue + Non-Tax Revenue at Rs. 16955 crore higher by Rs. 1430 crore over the revised target of Rs. 15525 crore
  12. Tax revenue expected to grow by around 10.43% over the current years RE.
  13. Reforms have now set the stage for meaningful public policy interventions.
  14. I can see green shoots of fiscal order because of the systematic changes made so far.
  15. Fiscal deficit previously estimated at around 9.5 per cent has actually turned out to be around 5.7 per cent.

Stakeholders: Government Employees

  1. 1 per cent Dearness Allowance due to the employees from 1st July 2017.
  2. Committed to implement 7th Pay Commission Recommendations from April 1, 2018, which will be effective from 1st January, 2016.
  3. Government recently reduced the eligibility for full pension from 33 years of qualifying service to 20 years of qualifying service, benefitting more than half of the number of employees on the rolls.
  4. Unmarried daughters of the employees, who were hitherto not entitled to receive pension, have now been made eligible to receive pension once the employee and his/her spouse is no more.
  5. Enhanced the Deposit Linked Insurance of GP Fund subscribers from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.50 lakh. Similar Scheme shall be framed for the employees covered under NPS.
  6. All the Government employees including pensioners, along with 5 family members, will be covered under improved and enhanced Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy. Given the fact that there are 4.5 lakh employees, and about 1.5 lakh pensioners, this insurance cover extends to about 30 lakh people.
  7. Government has increased the Personal Accidental Insurance from Rs.5.00 lakh to Rs.10.00 lakhs.
  8. “Assured Career Progression Scheme” for all the Gazetted cadres of engineering departments.
  9. To extend benefit of Assured Career Progression to other technical cadres like Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal & Sheep Husbandry etc. Stakeholders: Businesses, Businessmen, Traders
  10. Government will consider providing alternate incentive in lieu of CST to the industrial units in the State.
  11. The State Government shall also provide freight subsidy to the industrial units located in the State and transporting their manufactured goods beyond 1000 kilometres outside the state.
  12. The State Government shall make available refund of SGST to all the industrial units, which were hitherto eligible for VAT exemption.
  13. Hotels and resorts at par with the industries as far as payment of power tariff is concerned. From 1st April, 2018, they will now have to pay the same power tariff as is applicable to the Industries.
  14. Rollout a “CM’s Business Interest Relief Scheme”. For all the RBI approved restructured accounts, the Government will contribute one third of the total interest payment of all these borrowers.
  15. To grant one time waiver of Rs. 147.23 lakh on soft loans provided under erstwhile Prime Minister’s Package in respect of 19 Houseboat owners, who had taken such loans from Banks other than J&K Bank and SBI.
  16. To grant waiver of penalty and interest on arrears of tax in respect of all the dealers registered under the provisions of J&K Value Added Tax, 2005 and J&K General Sales Tax Act, 1962.
  17. To waive off interest and penalty on all the power arrears owed to the Government by the industrialists and hoteliers and tourist resort owners.
  18. Under Amnesty Scheme for transport sector, I am waiving off interest and penalty on past arrears of token and passenger tax from 1st July, 2016 to 31st March, 2017.
  19. To support the creation of a Common Facility Centre for Cricket Bat Industry at Sethar, Anantnag by making an attractive public-private partnership offer.
  20. To facilitate setting up of walnut processing units in the private sector through an enabling interest subvention scheme.
  21. Proposed a small initiative of setting up of a community based marketing network to encourage saffron growers to go back to the traditional system of cultivation, for which I am earmarking Rs. 5 crore.
  22. Proposed to set aside a sum of Rs.25.00 crore to finance orchard re-plantation/ high density plantation initiative.
  23. In the interim, till the scheme to facilitate private players to establish more CA stores in the State is designed and operationalised, a scheme for the hiring of CA stores in the areas adjacent to the NCR by the horticulture department for the use of apple growers of the state.
  24. Decided to do away with toll on vegetables, medicines, sugar, salt, tea, soaps/detergents, sanitary items, water coconut, wheat seeds, tree spray oil, newsprint, Jaggery (Gur).
  25. Proposed abolition of basic toll on all non-commercial, private light motor vehicles.
  26. Decided to abolish toll on export of all types of fruits produced within the State.
  27. To extend relief to the general commuters/ transporters, I have decided to abolish Lower Munda and Heerpur Toll Posts.

Stakeholder: Youth

  1. Education loans available from banks have the repayments deferred till completion of course, the interest during the moratorium period is back-breaking for most of the students.
  2. Proposed that more trades having entry qualification as 8th pass, both under NCVT/SCVT norms, be introduced.

Stakeholder: poor & marginalised

  1. The minimum wages of unskilled workers were raised from Rs. 150 to Rs. 225, while those of skilled labour to Rs. 350 from Rs. 225. A new category of highly skilled worker was introduced and Rs. 400 was fixed as the minimum wage. 46. We have insured the lives of construction workers, protected them against disability, disease and death, provided for their children’s education and given them

access to small credit. I am sure this will make life simpler

and more secure for 3 lakh families; i.e. 15 lakh people.

  1. Proposed every transgender shall be treated as living under BPL unless indicated otherwise.
  2. Free life and medical insurance cover and a monthly sustenance pension on the pattern of old age pension scheme for all transgender people above the age of 60 who are registered with the social welfare department.

PSUs

  1. A provision of Rs. 5 crore for meeting cost of VRS/GHS in PSUs.
  2. With the complete revamp of the corporate governance structure of the J&KSPDC, along with a refurbished balance sheet, a large equity base and a slew of projects in pipeline, J&KSPDC will be all set to grow and compete with the J&K Bank Ltd for the top slot profitable company owned by the J&K Government.
  3. J&K State Finance Corporation have issued a share buyback offer and have got a good and unexpectedly good response.
  4. Initiated the process of financial engineering in Public Enterprises. J&KSPDC, for instance, has made considerable progress towards financial engineering and their Balance sheet at the end of the year will show that the Corporation a debt free company.
  5. Rs 5 crore each to the Handicraft Development and Handloom Development Corporations for raw material and inventory upgradation.
  6. The SRTC is up for focussed attention and in the course of this year, it shall be our endeavour to strengthen its balance sheet and clear off its liabilities before showcasing it for a public-private partnership while retaining majority control.
  7. Setting up of a J&K Renewal Energy Corporation which will catalyze the development of renewable energy resources.
  8. Capital infusion of Rs. 255 crore in Anantnag Central Cooperative Bank, Baramulla Central Cooperative Bank, and Jammu Central Cooperative Bank.

Other Initiatives

  1. Proposed to set up a Disaster Mitigation Fund with an initial corpus of Rs. 10.00 crore.
  2. Proposed to frame a uniform Employment Code for the State, containing all the labour laws in force in the State. The proposed Employment Code shall set out the framework for terms of employment and service of all the workers except domestic workers and agricultural labour and a strong, independent and separate labour judiciary.
  3. Government is required to constitute a State Finance Commission in terms of the Jammu and Kashmir State Finance Commission for Panchayats and Municipalities Act, 2011.
  4. A committee of officers and professionals in the area of taxation and industry has been constituted to work out the framework for bringing real estate, electricity, alcohol and Petroleum a J&K GST.
  5. Bring electricity under the ambit of our GST. The reason being that under GST Input Tax Credit can be availed for electricity. This will boost the industrial sector and also encourage investment in power projects in the State.
  6. JK’s Accredited journalists to be covered under Mediclaim Group Insurance Scheme
  7. Good finance is not an end in itself; it is a means to a social and humanitarian end. This is especially so in J&K which has gone through unimaginable troubled times
  8. The strict discipline of no re-appropriation after December 31st 2017 has resulted in more than 50 per cent of the outlays being spent by December 31st, 2017.
  9. With the budgetary edifice in place, now is the time to consolidate the fiscal and budgetary reforms at the departmental level sustained and self-generating

efficiency gains.

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