JAMMU, Jan 19: Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu today declared that State Government would implement the 7th Pay Commission report from January 2016 while employees and pensioners would get cash enhancement in their salaries from April 2018.
Winding up discussion on the Budget 2017-18 in the Upper House today, the Finance Minister while responding to the queries raised by PDP Member, Khursheed Alam declared that Government has taken a decision to implement the 7th Pay Commission report from January 2016. He said the employees would get enhanced salaries from April 2018. For paying the arrears of the employees and pensioners, the Govt would device a mechanism shortly.
Referring to the remarks of NC member Sajjad Kichloo, Dr Drabu said that the people of the State have given mandate to this Government and this decision was taken in advance for the welfare of the employees and pensioners, setting side the old tradition of protests, dharnas and agitations. “We have done something different from the past Governments,” he added.
Dr Drabu said that several pioneering measures have been proposed in the Budget 2017-18 for fine-tuning the expenditure management and monitoring system and these initiatives would go a long way in bringing transparency, accountability and efficiency in allocation and utilization of funds across various sectors and activities.
Referring to the plight of employees, Drabu said during previous regime, the employee used to take several turns of Treasuries for years together to get their GPF amount. ” When we took over, it was established that there was no account of Rs 23,000 crore GPF amount of the employees/ pensioners. It was missing on ground. A total mess had been created. It was merely on papers. We tried to streamline the system and put Rs 2500 crore the GPF account and cleared the payments of the employees/ pensioners. He said as on date not even a single GPF case is pending as there are standing instructions with the officers not to keep pending hard earned money of the employees and a system of daily monitoring has been devised.”
Responding to the issue raised by Legislator Naresh Gupta with respect of NPA worth Rs 6000 crore generated in JK Bank and net loss of Rs 600 crore apprehending big financial crisis ahead, the Finance Minister said that Government being the promoter of JK Bank has decided for making an equity infusion of Rs 532 crore for maintaining its required capital adequacy and financing new asset growth without impairing the autonomy of the bank. He said there was no need to worry about Rs 6000 cr NPA and the efforts are being made to streamline the system.
He said there was no need to issue white paper as it was private concern and member should not discuss it here. He added that the efforts have been made to clear all past liabilities and provision has been made to ensure check on over-cost liabilities.
“DPR based system is being proposed in the Budget 2017-18 in which only such projects will be sanctioned which will be backed by proper project reports”, Drabu said.
The Finance Minister assured the House that guidelines and scope for making expenditure under CDF will be enlarged and strengthened with subsequent notification having effect from April 1, 2017.
Earlier, during discussion on Budget, Naresh Gupta urged for development of erstwhile Doda district on priority as it is the main source of hydropower generation for the State and demanded for providing 24 hour power supply to the entire Chenab area.
He suggested for construction of an alternative road to Doda-Kishtwar. Gupta requested for opening up of a super-specialty hospital in the area, besides asking for reintroducing various development schemes in the area.
BJP Member Surinder Ambardar appreciated the budget proposals saying it talked about reforms needed for harmonizing of micro and macro schemes. He lauded the Government for shifting operations from Single Treasury system to Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) system. While asking for developing IT Park in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban, he urged for increasing incentives available to industrial sector in Jammu. He appreciated the Govt for setting up a Press Club in Kashmir and suggested for establishing a Press Colony in Jammu for media-persons.
Dr Bashir Ahmad Veeri said that agriculture and industries are two main pillars of the State and attention should be paid on their focused development. He said there should not be any curtailment in funds allotted to these sectors and urged the Government to take necessary steps to address the serious issue of increasing unemployment in the State.
Saif-ud-Din Bhat while lauding the Government said that the Budget has been made on modern lines and it encompasses every key area. He said it will help bring accountability in functioning of public sector. He suggested that the Government should consider harnessing natural resources in Valley by developing projects like mini-hydel power projects.
Congress Member GN Monga said that Government should work towards fulfilling the commitments made to people of the State. He said provisions should be made to implement 7th Pay Commission at the earliest, besides seeking clarification on regularization issue of 61000 workers. He also called for early rehabilitation of flood victims.
PDP Member Firdous Tak complimenting the budget said that it will help bring a much needed reform in the system. He said it is a futuristic budget whose many benefits would be reaped for years to come. He thanked the Minister for de-linking of salaries of RMSA, SSA teachers and other employees engaged under Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) from center funding.