JAMMU, Jan 18: The Legislative Council today resumed the discussion on Budget for year 2017-18 wherein various members expressed their views on different initiatives and proposals.
Khursheed Alam welcomed people friendly budget and appreciated welfare provisions for farmers, workers, employees including cash credit facility, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bhima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bhima Yojana, Rashtriya Swasthya Bhima Yojana, regularization of 61,000 casual labourers of various categories and implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations from April 1st, 2018.
Sham Lal Bhagat expressed concern over the absence of benefits for mining of gypsum and sapphire and requested separate provisions for cultivation of medicinal plants and local agricultural products. He also urged for special package for farmers, comprehensive policy for regularization of casual labourers, initiatives to tap micro hydro electric potential catering to electricity needs of rural population.
Hailing budget as vehicle for reforms, Vibodh Gupta supported release of 50 percent of revenue and CAPEX budget in February 2017 and capping last quarter expenditure to 30% of budget allocation. He called for strengthening of audit mechanism with initiatives for social and physical audits. To cater to emergency related obstructions on roads, electricity and water supplies, he pleaded for creation of special fund. He called for blacklisting of companies and contractors failing to perform and deliver timely services. He also requested for establishing power grid station at Thanamandi, special provisions for sheep and animal husbandry, monetary allocations for Pahari hostel, besides enhanced government role in organizing Buddha Amarnath Yatra with special provisions for basic civic amenities.
Qaiser Jamsheed Lone expressed concern regarding lack of a concrete policy on unemployment, daily wagers, 7th Pay Commission arrears and inability in checking Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses. He urged for removal of pay anomalies in favour of Pattwaris and regularization of NHM employees.
Ramesh Arora congratulated the Government for replacing present treasury system with Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) system and promotion of integrated farming system. He called for withdrawal of VAT on purchases from canteen store departments by ex-servicemen and urged for extension of SRO-328 to soldiers. For regulating the prices and quality of life saving drugs and ensuring their availability to poor, he advocated for formulation of a specific policy.
He lauded Government’s effort for establishment of school for sufiyana and folk music, establishment of Aiwaan-e-sahaafat, tax exemption on lodging services by hotels, lodges and guest houses along with VAT remission to local industry.
Ajatshatru Singh welcomed the ‘Budget Estimation, Allocation and Monitoring System’ (BEAMS) for online budget distribution and expenditure authorization. He called for specific policies on medical tourism, pilgrimage tourism, organic farming, area specific technology mission for youth and medicinal plants. He hailed Government’s Scooty Scheme for girl students and All Terrain Mountain Bike Scheme for boy students and highlighted the need of organizing knowledge camps, trekking and other co-curricular activities for productive youth engagement. For preserving local cultural traditions, he urged for creation of district level mini auditoriums.
Surinder Choudhary appreciated the measures for introduction of PAO system besides regularization of 61,000 casual and other workers. He proposed adequate compensation to the workers who suffer fatal injuries in PDD and special policies for development of LoC and IB areas.
Showkat Hussain Ganai asked for increasing monetary incentives for standing councils, anganwari workers and interest subvention for agricultural loans. He urged for involvement of MLCs for PMDP implementation and increasing constituency development fund to Rs 5 crore.