Massive push to public infrastructure
Devised to give a massive push to the public infrastructure, Rs 88911 crore state budget for the fiscal 2019-20 was approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik.
Advisors to the Governor, K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and Kewal Kumar Sharma, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary to the Governor Umang Narula were present at the specially convened SAC meeting here this evening.
Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary gave a detailed presentation to the SAC on the Revised Estimates for 2018-19, Budget Estimates for 2019-20 and other key features of the budget.
The SAC was informed that the focus of the Budget 2019-20is to give a big push to tangible developmental initiativeswith Rs 30469 crore earmarked for building public and social infrastructure in addition to Rs 3631 crore already provided under Languishing Projects Programme.
SAC observed that investment in infrastructure is the growth driver for economy and has a cascading impact on all sectors including employment generation and socio-economic development.
According to Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, the Budget 2019-20 is structured around three fundamental objectives of Building Infrastructure, Building Institutions and Building Systemsunder the Government’s overarching Mission for Delivering Development and Mission on Good Governance.
He said the Budget is aimed at driving the state’seconomic growth through multifarious initiatives with thrust on substantive developmental and welfare measures. He said the investment in key developmental and social sectors has been enhanced substantively to leave a visible impact on the ground.
Giving sector-wise details of budget proposals, Chief Secretary said the biggest development during last six months of Governor’s Rule has been successful conduct of Panchayat and Municipal polls. The Panchayati Raj Act and the Municipal Act have been amended to empower these Local Bodies in a real sense.
The Panchayats and Municipal Bodies for the first time are likely to receive considerable funds. Rs 2573 crores are expected to flow to Panchayati Raj Institutions and Rs 1030 crores to Urban Local Bodies during next 15 months. Every Panchayat will get funds ranging from Rs20 lakh to Rs1 crore depending on its area and population to transform the developmental activities at the grassroots level.
2000 posts of Accounts Assistants are proposed to be created for Panchayati Raj Institutions to help them manage expenditure and account keeping.
MGNREGA has been an important rural development programme. However, it has a strict 60:40 ratio for wage component and capital component. In order to meet this ratio, many a times quality of infrastructure created through this programme is not up to standards and accordingly MGNREGA fundsshall be supplemented by way of up to 10% allocation from the State Exchequer to ensure quality of assets created.
Agriculture, Animal/Sheep Husbandry/Horticulture
The Chief Secretary said allocation to Agriculture sector has been proposed to be enhanced by Rs20 crores to be used for Revolving fund for Basmati Rice, improvement of Chinore Seed Farm, procurement of Dual Maize Thrashers, purchase of vegetable seeds, Mushroom cultivation, Paddy thrasher, Critical repairs of Irrigation channels, Vermi composite facilities, Bore well lift irrigation facilities, Cold storage etc.
To ensure availability of feed as per requirement an additional amount of Rs 4 crore has been proposed for Animal/Sheep Husbandry Department and RS 1 crore for shifting of the Animal/Sheep Husbandry farm to Chatta from Jammu.
50 percent subsidy proposed to be provided for all new CA stores to be established during next fiscal. Similarly, 50% subsidy will be made available for refrigerated vans for transportation of perishable vegetables/fruits.
Rs 2 crore have been provided for promotion of urban horticulture by way of planting 2-5 trees in the residential premises of households having some open land available.
To promote commercial cultivation of flowers in private sector, a provision of Rs 9.18 crores has been made to meet the freight subsidy, refrigerated vans etc. The Floriculture Department will work out a scheme in this regard.
To build infrastructure in existing and 40 new Degree Colleges proposed to be opened in the State, an allocation of Rs50 crores in the balance period of the current financial year and Rs200 crores for the next financial year has been proposed for infrastructure augmentation. Required manpower with more emphasis on teaching faculty will also be provided for these Degree Colleges.
Taking note of the fact that more than 8 lakh children in the primary and middle schools are without benches and desks and study sitting on the ground, the Government has proposed to provide Rs100 crores in budget to address this issue.
To ensure regular water and electricity supply to all the schools, an allocation of Rs 45crores has been made for next fiscal.
Rs 5.50 crore have been proposed for reactivating EDU-SAT and setting up additional Smart Classrooms in schools.
All under-construction buildings of Medical Colleges, District/Sub-district hospitals, PHCs etc are proposed to be completed during 2019-2020 for which an allocation of Rs 350 crores has been proposed.
Besides, Rs 100 crores has been proposed to be provided for onetime augmentation of the equipment in the hospitals across the State.
To meet the obligation of the State share for acquisition of land/structures for establishment of AIMS at Vijaypur and Awantipora, Rs 87.09 crore is proposed to be provided. Similarly, Rs5crore as State share has been provided for establishment of five new medical colleges.
To augment the healthcare sector Rs1 crore has been proposed for construction of Red Cross House at Srinagar, Rs3.18 crore to complete various works of Health and Medical Education Department in the Doda district as per directions of the Governor, Rs32 crores additional State share for 5 new Medical Colleges, Rs1.50 crore for purchase of 5 critical care ambulances for hilly districts, establishment of Cath Lab at the estimated cost of Rs.8.00 crore at SMHS Srinagar, Rs8 crore for establishment/procurement of MRI at SKIMS Medical College (JVC Bemina), Rs1 crore for establishment of Drug-de-addiction centre at SKIMS Medical College (JVC Bemina) and Rs 3 crore for upgradation of Sonam Narbo Hospital, Leh to 300 bed capacity.
Required funding to be provided for having more Jan Aushadhi centres in the State.
Rs 300 crores proposed to be provided over and above the normal outlay, PMDP funding and Centrally Sponsored Schemes for development of power distribution system to ensure complete transformation of power network by the end of financial year 2019-20.
Grants and loans of J&K State Power Development Corporation to be turned into the equity base of the Corporation for its financial restructuring. The Government intends to put in place professional Board of Directors and sound professional team of management to achieve the objectives of JKSPDC turning into a bigger company.
J&K has achieved the distinction of reaching every households by way of providing power through various sources. It is equally important that the consumers pay for the power it consumes. Non-collection of power tariff is the biggest drain on State exchequer. While -provisions for power purchase has been enhanced to Rs5261 crores in RE 2018-19 against the original budgetary provision of Rs4700 crores, the provision of Rs5000 crores has been kept in Budget Estimates of 2019-2020. In addition, the Government is hopeful to receive the concurrence of Union Finance Ministry to grant permission for raising Rs3500 crores state bonds to address the past power purchase liability.
To check power pilferage and ensure all consumers pay for the power it consumes, PDD is in the process of procuring and installing prepaid smart meters in all the households/ business establishments etc. Necessary funds have been made available in this regard.
To brighten the evenings and improve the night life, Rs10crore will be provided to install minimum of 100 high mask lights in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu.
To promote Solar Power, Rs10 crore has been provided in the Revised Estimates 2018-19. Further, an amount of Rs45 crore will be provided for promotion of solar power including solar heaters in the year 2019-20.
PHE/ Irrigation & Flood Control
Providing safe drinking water supply to people is the most basic expectation of the masses from the Government. A large number of drinking water supply projects have either not been completed or malfunctioning due to various reasons. A sum of Rs 1500crores is proposed to be provided to augment the drinking water supply across the State in the proposed budget.
Jammu city is rapidly expanding and faces massive water supply problem during summers. A mega project to provide drinking water supply from Chenab river is expected to be funded by ADB for which required commitment from the State budget will be met.
The Government of India has recently approved a project on Ujj river for irrigation/ drinking water supply and another long pending irrigation project of Shahpur Kandi. These two projects will transform the entire kandi belt of Kathua and Samba districts. Necessary State share towards these projects is being provided in the proposed budget.
To boost irrigation facilities Rs 150crores is proposed to be spent during 2019-20. Rs12crore provided for purchase of dredgers for Irrigation & Flood Control Department, Kashmir.
Roads and Buildings
Annual budgetary allocation for macadamization of roads proposed to be enhanced from Rs 100 crore to Rs 400 crores in 2019-20. Roads and Buildings department will make all efforts to use new technologies to the extent possible.
Budgetary allocation for land acquisition for roads including those funded by PMGSY, NABARD proposed to be enhanced from Rs 30 crore to Rs100 crores for 2019-20.
Rs 20 crore proposed for beautification of bridges and flyovers in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu during 2019-20.
To complete pending works of roads, bridges etc languishing for many years, an additional sum of Rs 1000 crores will be spent during 2019-20.
Housing and Urban Development
To promote planned expansion of the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, Metropolitan Authorities will be created for which an initial provision of Rs100 crores has been made. This will be supplemented by funding available under Smart Cities and institutional borrowing.
Drainage, sewerage and construction of STPs have been the neglected areas in our developmental narrative. It is a matter of great concern that world-famous tourist resorts of Gulmarg, Sonamarag, Patnitopetc do not have STPs and therefore discharge into various water bodies. The city of Jammu has only one partially functional STP while Srinagar requires more STPs to tackle the problems of large amount of sewerage going into Dal lake causing perennial problems. Further, proper drainage and sewerage in other towns of the State is also required.
An allocation of Rs 500 crores towards construction of drainage and sewerage, STPs and solid waste disposal plants across the State is proposed in the balance part of the current year and during next financial year.
An initial sum of Rs 10 crore is proposed to be provided for riverfront development in Jammu city including connecting Vikram Chowk with Gujjar Nagar bridge along the river Tawi.
Industries and Commerce
The pending issues of amnesty on interest and penalty of past power dues of industries has been resolved.
While in the past budget, the issue of fiscal support to the industries was the primary focus, there is need to look at the infrastructure bottlenecks and address the same to facilitate industrialization in the State. Most of the industrial estates are old with dilapidated infrastructure. Further, upcoming industrial estates have also not been provided the required infrastructure.
Under “Ease of doing Business”, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has moved its position from 31st to 22nd and is expected to further move to around 15th position among all States. In order to support this process, various e-governance projects need to be funded.
Rs 400 crores proposed to be spent on augmentation of infrastructure including waste disposal in all existing and upcoming industrial estates and also to support the process of improving “Ease of doing Business”.
The State Government has recently approved granting old age pension to 40000 new pensioners and budgetary allocation has been provided for the same. Further, Rs4crore is proposed for improvement of Bal Ashrams, home for mentally ill persons and old aged persons. All existing schemes of Social Welfare Department for deprived sections of the society have been fully funded.
Under the PMDP, tourism sector has got a major boost by way of assured funding of Rs2000 crores for tourism infrastructure building. In addition, Rs 130 crores to be provided for augmentation of the staff of Tourism Department for 2019-2020 which would also include creation of PMU or a dedicated cell for effective promotional campaign throughout the Country and World.
Youth Services and Sports
Sports infrastructure has remained a neglected area in the State hampering the holistic development of its youth. In order to complete all ongoing works of stadiums, play fields including game specific infrastructure, Rs 350 crores has been proposed to be spent during 2019-2020. It includes establishment of 5 synthetic football turfs, 5 synthetic astro turfs for hockey, 90 basketball courts, 80 volleyball courts, 102 badminton courts, 50 handball synthetic courts, 500 Table Tennis courts, 4 synthetic maintenance machines, 7 lawn tennis courts, 40 cricket net/wicket, 24 bowling machines, 22 cricket pitch roller, 1 shooting range, 6 swimming pools, 8 roller skating rinks, 2 climbing walls, 2 cycling track, 6 synthetic athletic track, 2 archery filed and 1 synthetic rugby playfield.
An initial provision of Rs 5 crore has been provided in the budget to promote youth exchange programmes.
In absence of textbooks and other study materials to clear competitive examinations, the students from J&K in adequate numbers do not qualify for All India Service examinations, banking examinations and other national level competitive examinations. It is proposed to provide textbooks of all subjects and other required study material to clear competitive examinations including IAS/KAS and Banking examinations. A sum of Rs 3.50 crore in the financial year 2019-2020 at Rs 50 lakh each for the purpose is provided. These books and study material will be provided either in the District Libraries or the counselling centres operated by the Employment Department. In the first phase districts of Pulwama, Baramulla, Kupwara, Kathua, Poonch, Doda and Leh will be taken up.
The government also plans to invite reputed career counsellors to visit Higher Secondary Schools and Colleges to make the students aware of opportunities available to them across various fields. A sum of Rs.2.00 crore has been provided for this purpose.
Due to frequent disturbances, the transport in private sector has suffered a lot and there is a need to support the private sector for providing quality buses for transportation in the state. It is proposed to subsidize 500 new large busses in the private sector. Accordingly, Rs 25 crore has been provided in the budget. Transport Department in consultation with Finance Department will work out the modalities/guidelines in this regard.
Urban transportation particularly in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu cities comprise mainly of matadors. The bus service in these two capital cities is completely absent causing increased traffic volume on the roads. In order to provide for low floor busses in these two cities, an initial sum of Rs 25 crore is provided in the budget. A decision would be taken regarding this new service to be run by SRTC or Smart City Corporation or altogether to a new company.
For revival of SRTC by way of augmentation of its fleet, in the Revised Estimates for the current year Rs 10 crore is proposed to be provided for purchase of 45-50 new buses to be deployed largely in hilly districts of the State. Rs 25 crore is further proposed to be provided for purchase of new busses by SRTC in 2019-20 for plying on long routes. An additional Rs 2 crore each will be provided for purchase of buses for Leh and Kargil and Rs 1 crore for Gurez which remain landlocked for half of the year.
Computerisation/digitization of land records is of paramount importance. While the pace has gathered momentum, the required additional assistance of Rs5.00 crore is being provided for its early completion.
Revenue Department machinery at the grass root level comprising of Tehsildars and Sub-divisional Magistrates are without vehicles and office. 50 new vehicles will be provided for Tehsildars/ SDMs having no vehicles to ensure their mobility not only for their departmental work but also in view of the fact that they perform magisterial duties during frequent law and order problems. Revenue Department is also in the process of levying service fees for various activities like land acquisition, issuance of certificates of various kinds etc which would go to “Revenue Infrastructure Fund” to take care of various emerging infrastructure needs of the Department.
Rs 9000 crore provided for meeting additional financial requirement on account ofimplementation of 7th pay Commission recommendations. Arrears also being paid to the employees in the current year itself.
Long pending issue of stagnation of KAS and KPS Officers have been addressed. Similarly, induction from various feeding services to the KAS particularly in the case of Secretariat Non-gazetted service has also been addressed. Around, 27000 posts have been created to regularise the teachers recruited through Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) and Sarwa Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). This measure alone will cost the State exchequer an additional burden of Rs1000 crores.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)
Rs 4 crore proposed to be provided for construction Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) headquarter at Srinagar.
Robust IT infrastructure has now become the basic need to monitor effectively the developmental works. In order to avoid transportation of large number of computers and other electronic equipment with each durbar move, Rs15 crores have been provided for purchase of hardware and software for the Civil Secretariat, Jammu. Henceforth, the computer infrastructure for Jammu will remain stationed at Jammu and the same will be left at Srinagar while moving to Jammu.
Rs 5 crores to be provided for digitization of office records of Civil Secretariat and Rs 3 crore for installing robust LAN Network.
The twin districts of Ladakh and Kargil has only six months working period so far as construction activities are concerned. Further, inadequate funding of the projects has resulted in a large number of languishing projects in the two districts. Accordingly, all such languishing projects have been taken up for funding by the State sector and are expected to be completed at the cost of more than Rs300 crores.
District Development Commissioners
The institutions of District Development Commissioners are proposed to be strengthened by way of providing untied grants to supplement the smaller needs of development