JAMMU, Jan 11: Rejecting the budget proposals for 2017-2018 presented by Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu in State Assembly today, the opposition parties termed it an eye wash and an attempt to befool the common masses.
Senior NC leader and former Minister, Ali Mohammed Sagar, while reacting over the budget proposals presented by Finance Minister in the Assembly said that it was expected that Drabu being a good economist and the same will be reflected in the budget also but nothing has been done by him to improve the system as he presented his third budget today.
Recalling the speech made by Drabu while presenting his first budget in the Assembly said that at that time he had informed the House that there was lot of mismanagement and he will improve the same. While presenting his second budget, he had said there are 90 points on which he was going to take action and did nothing. Now in this year’s budget he also highlighted 150 points which shows that budgets presented by this Government are directionless, added Sagar.
While taking on the Government and its policies, he said the Ladley Beti which is a good scheme has not been implemented as Government has so far failed to pay its share. Moreover, Government is silent on removing unemployment which is a serious and grave problem. Besides, in its economic survey the Government has itself reflected that State lost Rs 16,000 crore due to six month long turmoil in Kashmir but no package has been announced for the people hit by it. There is also no mention about any package for 2014 flood hit people, especially Shikara and house boat owners, he added.
Sagar said there is also no mention about promotion of tourism and industry in this budget.
The NC MLA wanted to know where the Rs 80,000 crore package given by Government of India was spent and during the reply to his question today Government said that no money has been spent out of this package so far. This shows this Government has no mobilization capacity, he added.
The NC leader said under Kissan Card Government had said that Rs 50,000 will be remitted to farmers but it has not been done till date.
While reacting on the budget CLP leader and former Minister, Rigzin Jora said this could at best be called a hum drum budget lacking in direction and substance. There is nothing in this budget that would give a new direction and impetus to either the development process or lend vibrancy to the economy. Haseeb Drabu in his maiden budget speech has announced that he would be no longer going to Delhi with a begging bowl; that he would bring huge investment into the State through Public Private Partnership ; that the State would be in a position to fund development projects through its own revenues and resources,. Fact remains, he has pushed the State deeper into the morass of dependency into Government of India doles and hand outs.
Jora said whatever little economic growth that state is witnessing is driven by public spending and that does not augur well for the State. Even this growth is a ” jobless growth ” ; therefore a “joyless growth ” . One of the factors of unrest in Kashmir is also unemployment. The rate of growth of unemployment in J & K is higher than the national average. But this budget has done nothing to address the unemployment, he added.
He said the Finance Minister has announced implementation of 7th payment Commission to the 5 lakh employees from 2018 April. Why can’t this Government give their employees their due along with Government of India just as we had done with 6th Pay Commission. Specially so when this Government doesn’t tire of tom-taming about how Delhi is liberal with J&K. Similarly, regularisation of the daily wagers / daily rated workers etc has been deferred till 2018.
While talking to reporters outside the Assembly today soon after the presentation of annual budget by the Finance Minister, NC’s senior leader and former Speaker Mubarak Gul said it is nothing except old wine in new bottles.
He said they are hoodwinking people by announcing to regularize daily wagers. They have not given any charity to them as these daily wagers have donated their land to government for various schemes and they were promised to be given job in lieu of that. So what is new in this budget. These daily wagers were already engaged by the Government and regularization was their right, he added.
Likewise, he criticized the Government’s claims on Aadhar cards and said whom they gave Aadhar cards. People have not received it and Kashmir was under shut down for last six months so whom they gave the Aadhar cards, he questioned?.
Taking on the Government former Minister and MLA Udhampur, Pawan Gupta said this Government is not going to do any good to the people nor people should have any expectations from it.
He said there is no scope in this budget for power purchase also. The State has given Rs 1273 crore avoidable interest on power purchase and it still continues. Besides, Rs 600 cr NPA of J&K Bank is cause of concern, he added.
He said Government has presented inaccurate figures in this budget. Last time they said 3540 crore was the revenue tariff and figures in this regard were exaggerated this year as in revised budget they have shown Rs 4800 crore, he added.
Usman Majid of Congress while commenting on budget said it is nothing except Mungerey Lal Key Sunherey Supnay as there is no mention of announcements made during last year budget. They have shown dreams to people last year also and there is no mention how far they were realized.
Turning tables on coalition, he said the budget is a cheating with the people of the State. He said nothing has been done for Government employees and pensioners. Besides, the budget does not reflect any concrete step taken by this Government for development of the State and welfare of poor. The Government has committed a big fraud with people and cheated them in this budget, he added. Senior CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has said that the budget presented by the Finance Minister has no mention of substantial mechanism to tackle the alarming rise of unemployment problem in the State. The unemployed youth of the State will feel let down as this budget has nothing significant to offer. The budget proposals reveal that unemployment generation has not been the priority of this Government. No measures are proposed for resource mobilization and providing succor to the downtrodden sections under welfare schemes, he added.
He said it has nothing significant to offer and instead has generated disappointment for financially vulnerable sections of the society. Although a separate power budget has also been presented but it appears to be a mere figure work and no future policy to augment the generation, transmission and distribution and improving the defunct networking is seen in the same. It totally lacks concrete framework for revival of state’s economy, he added.
Tarigami said the core sectors like agriculture, horticulture and livestock in terms of allocations have totally been neglected, despite the fact that the State is agriculture one and major chunk of population is dependent on it. More-so the farmers and growers are also subjected to losses due to substandard and spurious pesticides and no attention has been paid to cope this menace. The Industry ahs also been neglected, he added.
However BJP president and MLA Jammu West Sat Sharma termed the budget pro-poor people which will boos the State economy. He said many welfare measures have been taken for the State in this budget and termed the regularization of daily wagers a great welfare measure.
He said abolishing of treasuries is another bold decision to create work culture and avoid unnecessary delays while paying salaries in time to every employee reflects the will of Government to cleanse the system in the State.