KV Correspondent

SAC approves Budget 2019-20

SAC approves Budget 2019-20
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JAMMU: Devised to give a massive push to the public infrastructure, Rs 88911 crore state budget for the fiscal 2019-20 was approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik.
Advisors to the Governor, K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and Kewal Kumar Sharma, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary to the Governor Umang Narula were present at the specially convened SAC meeting here this evening.
Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary gave a detailed presentation to the SAC on the Revised Estimates for 2018-19, Budget Estimates for 2019-20 and other key features of the budget.
The SAC was informed that the focus of the Budget 2019-20is to give a big push to tangible developmental initiativeswith Rs 30469 crore earmarked for building public and social infrastructure in addition to Rs 3631 crore already provided under Languishing Projects Programme.
SAC observed that investment in infrastructure is the growth driver for economy and has a cascading impact on all sectors including employment generation and socio-economic development.
According to Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, the Budget 2019-20 is structured around three fundamental objectives of Building Infrastructure, Building Institutions and Building Systemsunder the Government’s overarching Mission for Delivering Development and Mission on Good Governance.
He said the Budget is aimed at driving the state’seconomic growth through multifarious initiatives with thrust on substantive developmental and welfare measures.He said the investment in key developmental and social sectors has been enhanced substantively to leave a visible impact on the ground.
Chief Secretary said to build adequate capacities in the Line Departments for spending huge developmental funds, it has been decided that the line departments would be adequately strengthened by way of providing consultants, setting up of dedicated DPR preparation cells and Project Implementation Agencies and IT Consultants etc.
Local Bodies
Giving sector-wise details of the budget proposals, Chief Secretary said that the biggest development during last six months of Governor’s Rule has been successful conduct of Panchayat and Municipal polls. The Panchayati Raj Act and the Municipal Act have been amended to empower these Local Bodies in a real sense.
The Panchayats and Municipal Bodies for the first time are likely to receive considerable funds. Rs 2573 crores are expected to flow to Panchayati Raj Institutions and Rs 1030 crores to Urban Local Bodies during next 15 months. Every Panchayat will get funds ranging from Rs20 lakh to Rs1 crore depending on its area and population to transform the developmental activities at the grassroots level.
2000 posts of Accounts Assistants are proposed to be created for Panchayati Raj Institutions to help them manage expenditure and account keeping.
Agriculture, Animal/Sheep Husbandry/Horticulture
He said allocation to Agriculture sector has been proposed to be enhanced by Rs20 crores to be used for Revolving fund for Basmati Rice, improvement of Chinore Seed Farm, procurement of Dual Maize Thrashers, purchase of vegetable seeds, Mushroom cultivation, Paddy thrasher, Critical repairs of Irrigation channels, Vermi composite facilities, Bore well lift irrigation facilities, Cold storage etc.
To ensure availability of feed as per requirement an additional amount of Rs4 crore has been proposed for Animal/Sheep Husbandry Department and RS 1 crore for shifting of the Animal/Sheep Husbandry farm to Chatta from Jammu.
50% subsidy proposed to be provided for all new CA stores to be established during next fiscal. Similarly, 50% subsidy will be made available for refrigerated vans for transportation of perishable vegetables/fruits.
Rs 2 crore have been provided for promotion of urban horticulture by way of planting 2-5 trees in the residential premises of households having some open land available.
To promote commercial cultivation of flowers in private sector, a provision of Rs9.18 crores has been made to meet the freight subsidy, refrigerated vans etc. The Floriculture Department will work out a scheme in this regard.

To build infrastructure in existing and 40 new Degree Colleges proposed to be opened in the State, an allocation of Rs50 crores in the balance period of the current financial year and Rs200 crores for the next financial year has been proposed for infrastructure augmentation. Required manpower with more emphasis on teaching faculty will also be provided for these Degree Colleges.
Taking note of the fact that more than 8 lakh children in the primary and middle schools are without benches and desks and study sitting on the ground, the Government has proposed to provide Rs100 crores in budget to address this issue.
To ensure regular water and electricity supply to all the schools, an allocation of Rs 45crores has been made for next fiscal.
Rs 5.50 crore have been proposed for reactivating EDU-SAT and setting up additional Smart Classrooms in schools.
Health Sector
All under-construction buildings of Medical Colleges, District/Sub-district hospitals, PHCs etc are proposed to be completed during 2019-2020 for which an allocation of Rs 350 crores has been proposed.
Besides, Rs 100 crores has been proposed to be provided for onetime augmentation of the equipment in the hospitals across the State.
To meet the obligation of the State share for acquisition of land/structures for establishment of AIMS at Vijaypur and Awantipora, Rs 87.09 crore is proposed to be provided. Similarly, Rs5crore as State share has been provided for establishment of five new medical colleges.
To augment the healthcare sector Rs1 crore has been proposed for construction of Red Cross House at Srinagar, Rs3.18 crore to complete various works of Health and Medical Education Department in the Doda district as per directions of the Governor, Rs32 crores additional State share for 5 new Medical Colleges, Rs1.50 crore for purchase of 5 critical care ambulances for hilly districts, establishment of Cath Lab at the estimated cost of Rs.8.00 crore at SMHS Srinagar, Rs8 crore for establishment/procurement of MRI at SKIMS Medical College (JVC Bemina), Rs1 crore for establishment of Drug-de-addiction centre at SKIMS Medical College (JVC Bemina) and Rs 3 crore for upgradation of Sonam Narbo Hospital, Leh to 300 bed capacity.
Required funding to be provided for having more Jan Aushadhi centres in the State.
Power Sector
Rs 300 crores proposed to be provided over and above the normal outlay, PMDP funding and Centrally Sponsored Schemes for development of power distribution system to ensure complete transformation of power network by the end of financial year 2019-20.
Grants and loans of J&K State Power Development Corporation to be turned into the equity base of the Corporation for its financial restructuring. The Government intends to put in place professional Board of Directors and sound professional team of management to achieve the objectives of JKSPDC turning into a bigger company.
J&K has achieved the distinction of reaching every households by way of providing power through various sources. It is equally important that the consumers pay for the power it consumes. Non-collection of power tariff is the biggest drain on State exchequer. While -provisions for power purchase has been enhanced to Rs5261 crores in RE 2018-19 against the original budgetary provision of Rs4700 crores, the provision of Rs5000 crores has been kept in Budget Estimates of 2019-2020. In addition, the Government is hopeful to receive the concurrence of Union Finance Ministry to grant permission for raising Rs3500 crores state bonds to address the past power purchase liability.
To check power pilferage and ensure all consumers pay for the power it consumes, PDD is in the process of procuring and installing prepaid smart meters in all the households/ business establishments etc. Necessary funds have been made available in this regard.
To brighten the evenings and improve the night life, Rs10crore will be provided to install minimum of 100 high mask lights in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu.

Roads and Buildings
Annual budgetary allocation for macadamization of roads proposed to be enhanced from Rs 100 crore to Rs 400 crores in 2019-20. Roads and Buildings department will make all efforts to use new technologies to the extent possible.
Budgetary allocation for land acquisition for roads including those funded by PMGSY, NABARD proposed to be enhanced from Rs 30 crore to Rs100 crores for 2019-20.
Rs20 crore proposed for beautification of bridges and flyovers in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu during 2019-20.
To complete pending works of roads, bridges etc languishing for many years, an additional sum of Rs 1000 crores will be spent during 2019-20.

Industries and Commerce
The pending issues of amnesty on interest and penalty of past power dues of industries has been resolved.
While in the past budget, the issue of fiscal support to the industries was the primary focus, there is need to look at the infrastructure bottlenecks and address the same to facilitate industrialization in the State. Most of the industrial estates are old with dilapidated infrastructure. Further, upcoming industrial estates have also not been provided the required infrastructure.
Under “Ease of doing Business”, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has moved its position from 31st to 22nd and is expected to further move to around 15th position among all States. In order to support this process, various e-governance projects need to be funded.
Rs400 crores proposed to be spent on augmentation of infrastructure including waste disposal in all existing and upcoming industrial estates and also to support the process of improving “Ease of doing Business”.

Tourism Sector
Under the PMDP, tourism sector has got a major boost by way of assured funding of Rs2000 crores for tourism infrastructure building. In addition, Rs130 crores to be provided for augmentation of the staff of Tourism Department for 2019-2020 which would also include creation of PMU or a dedicated cell for effective promotional campaign throughout the Country and World.

Employees/Employment Generation
Rs 9000 crore provided for meeting additional financial requirement on account ofimplementation of 7th pay Commission recommendations. Arrears also being paid to the employees in the current year itself.
Long pending issue of stagnation of KAS and KPS Officers have been addressed. Similarly, induction from various feeding services to the KAS particularly in the case of Secretariat Non-gazetted service has also been addressed. Around, 27000 posts have been created to regularise the teachers recruited through Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) and Sarwa Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). This measure alone will cost the State exchequer an additional burden of Rs1000 crores.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)
Rs 4. crore proposed to be provided for construction Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) headquarter at Srinagar.

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