*Rs 8200 cr to be spent on power purchase
JAMMU, Jan 12: The Government has allocated very meager grants ranging from 3.6 per cent to 4.6 per cent for spending on Health, Rural Development and Agriculture sectors during 2017-18 while its majority chunk of funds 20.79 per cent of total expenditure would go to Power Development Department (PDD), which has been providing electricity on subsidized rates and was not able to get revenue from the consumers on desired lines.
However, Education sector has been allocated adequate grants worth Rs 9238 crores for next financial year of 2017-18, which accounted for 11.62 per cent of total spending.
An official document released today on allocation of grants to various Ministries for the next financial year revealed that the Government has given budgetary allocation of Rs 16,521 crores which amounted to 20.79 per cent of the State’s total spending. The second highest allocations of Rs 9238 crore have gone to Education sector.
However, Health, Rural Development Department (RDD) and Agriculture, which directly concerns the commonman, have been allocated nominal allocation for the next financial year, the document revealed.
It said Agriculture will get Rs 3674 crores, which comes out at just 4.62 per cent of the total spending while Health will get even less than that at Rs 3472 crores i.e. 4.37 per cent of the entire expenditure. The Rural Development is placed even below them in the allocations at Rs 2862 crores (only 3.6 per cent of the spending).
Police have been allocated Rs 6092 crores (7.67 per cent) in view of grim security situation in the State as it has to deal with militancy, law and order problem, unrest etc.
The Government will spend Rs 5000 crores on payment of pensions (6.29 per cent) and Rs 3145 crore for debt repayment (3.96 per cent).
Sources said the higher allocations to the Power Development Department were necessitated as it had to purchase electricity to meet the demand in view of sharp gap between demand and generation.
The document revealed that Rs 8200 crores are budgeted to be spent on purchasing of power from generation companies. At the same time, the Power Development Department is expecting to realize Rs 4800 crores as revenue from the consumers through the supply of electricity. However, most of the time, the PDD hasn’t been able to meet the target of annual revenue set for it in view of disturbed conditions in the State and power theft.
As compared to last two years, the budgetary allocations to the Power Development Department have gone up by 64.2 per cent. The allocations to PDD were Rs 6641 crores in 2015-16, which have been revised to Rs 10063 crores in 2016-17 and would go up to Rs 16,521 crores in 2017-18.
However, the increase in Education sector has been kept at 6.1 per cent. Allocations to Education were Rs 6316 crores in 2015-16, Rs 8667 crores in 2016-17 and would go up to Rs 9238 crores in 2017-18.
Allocations in Police have also recorded an increase of 18.9 per cent. The spending were Rs 4454 crore in 2015-16, Rs 5123 crores in 2016-17 and have been projected as Rs 6092 crores in 2017-18.
Though the allocation in Agriculture, Health and Rural Development sectors were meager as compared to other sectors, the increase in them was significant.
The Agriculture was given Rs 2113 crores in 2015-16, Rs 3137 crores in 2016-17 and would get Rs 3674 crores in 2017-18, recording an increase of 17.1 per cent while Health had an allocation of Rs 1863 crores in 2015-16, Rs 2915 crores in 2016-17 and was projected to get Rs 3472 crores in 2017-18, an increase of 19.1 per cent. The Rural Development got just Rs 376 crores during 2015-16, which was increased to Rs 2244 crores in 2016-17 and would get Rs 2862 crores in 2017-18, a hike of 27.5 per cent.
The document said the Government would spend Rs 2348 crores on Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Rs 130 crores on modernization of police force, Rs 244 crores on agricultural research and education, Rs 589 crores on National Health Mission and Rs 490 crores on NREGA works.