JAMMU, Jan 20: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today hailed the improvement in the current year’s revenue collections despite the ongoing pandemic and stated that a strong and consistent revenue performance and a positive outlook for future will underpin equally strong capex growth this fiscal year and beyond.
He made this observation while reviewing the functioning of the Finance Department in which Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department and other senior officers of the department were present.
The Chief Secretary said that the expenditure efficiencies in the system have vastly improved due to the recent introduction of a series of financial reforms and nowhere was it more evident than in the number of works completed in 18-19 as compared to this year at relatively less expenditure than the correspondingly previous years.
“In the past, on an average 2000 works would be completed. Now as on today, 11508 works have already been completed and by the time the current financial year comes to a close, around 25000 works are expected to be completed. This represents 12 times increase over the previous years’ average,” he said.
Dr Mehta said the capex performance has to be further improved to maximize the gains of fiscal reforms so as to create a virtuous cycle of the growth in J&K that feeds on itself and continues to grow.
Stating that PRIs are the top focus of the Government, the Chief Secretary said that the developmental spending in the rural areas needs to be ramped up with the close support of the representatives of the local self government for better infrastructure development.
Earlier Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department, Atal Dulloo in his presentation stated that SGST collections as on December 2021 has been 46 % higher than the corresponding period in the last year while IGST settlement has registered a growth of 35 % over the previous year in the same period.
He further said that stamp collection is 87 % higher than the previous year over the same period even as MST collections have shown a growth of 46.41 cr.
It was further informed that Excise collections during the year are expected to exceed the last year’s target by Rs 300 cr.
Giving details of the works under execution, Finance Secretary informed that out of 44245 projects/works taken up during 2021-22 under District capex, 42102 works have been accorded administrative approval out of which 40248 works have been tendered. 28523 works out of the tendered works have been allotted / presently under execution. The department informed that out of 28523 works under execution; around 25000 works are expected to be completed during this fiscal year.
The department further informed that out of 2357 works sanctioned under languishing projects, 1192 works have been completed so far at a cost of Rs. 1983.77 cr.
Finance Secretary said that expenditure performance of various departments is being monitored and wherever necessary instructions are being issued to increase the spending so that annual capex targets are met by the department.
Highlighting the importance of monitoring the regular CSS inflows from the central government, the Chief Secretary said that the department must work closely with the departments for seeking more CSS funds from the union government.
Dr Mehta laid emphasis on ensuring real time audit of the departments through e-audit and said that instead of auditing account books on ex post basis, the department needs to do so on ex-ante basis so that deviations from norms are checked before they happen.
He directed the department to ensure that all 24 services in the Excise department are integrated in the single window under the Business Reform action Plan of the I&C department.
The Chief Secretary further directed the department to bring all 16 services under E-Grass on top priority.