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Works without codal formalities not to be allowed: Rather
JAMMU, Feb 20: The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather today said no old bill is pending for payment in any government treasury of the state and the schedule of bill payment in treasuries is being monitored on daily basis. He said that third installment on account of the 6th pay commission arrears to the pensioners were pending for want of reconciliation work, would be paid shortly.

He said the element of accountability and transparency in treasuries has increased and stringent action is taken against defaulting Treasury Officers if any violation of instructions of the Finance Department comes to notice. He said all the treasuries of State are being computerized in a phased manner to provide on- line facilities to the people and to reduce peoples direct interface with the employees adding that Civil Secretariat Treasury and Saddar Treasuries at Srinagar and Jammu have already been fully computerized. He said 59000 Daily Wagers have already been regularized who have completed 7 years of their services upto 1994. Similarly the legislation made for regularization of Contractual employees is another land mark and first of its kind initiative in the country, taken by the coalition government.

Rather expressed concern over the reports that some development works have been done without calling tenders and without following Codel formalities, adding that stringent corrective measures shall have to be taken to check this trend. “Officers found involved in this wrong practice shall have to face its consequences,” Rather said

The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather today said that in comparison to the total tax collection of Rs. 2683 crore during 2008-2009, it has increased to Rs. 6700 crore in a short span of last 5 years, signifying an overall growth of more than two and half times. He said the State’s tax revenue is estimated to reach Rs. 7500 crore during next fiscal. The annual growth rate comes to nearly 30% which is a record performance by any standards.

In his one and half hour long reply to the debate on budget for next fiscal in the House of Elders today, the Finance Minister said that the fact remains that the impressive growth in tax revenue during last five years has been attained without putting new tax burden on the shoulders of the common man. He said State’s Non-Tax Revenue too has shown similar impressive growth. In comparison to the total non-tax revenue collection of Rs. 837 crore made during the year 2008-2009, the last year’s actual realization was to the tune of Rs. 2,160 crore.

Rather said that when the present coalition government took office in 2009, the State was confronted with a mounting fiscal deficit beyond 7.5 much beyond mandatory limits under Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM), Act. He said, soon after taking over as the Finance Minister of the State in 2009, he implemented short term, medium term and long term structural reforms in the State Finances, besides taking several budget control measures and plugging loopholes in the tax collection system, which paid rich dividends. The fiscal deficit has now come down to 3.91% (QE) during the last fiscal against given target of 4.2%.

Rather said that our current economic growth rate is estimated at 5.88% which is better than growth rate at national level which is 4.8%. He added that fiscal goals laid down by the 13th Finance Commission about gradual lowering of ratio of our outstanding debt to our GSDP have remained well within the limits. He said all these achievements were registered despite burgeoning salary and pension Bills which have increased from Rs. 5925 crore in 2008-2009 to Rs. 15500 crore during the current fiscal and estimated to further increase to Rs. 18500 crore during the next fiscal.

Rather said that the State’s special status under the Union Constitution shall be safeguarded while implementing proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime at the national level whenever such a decision is taken. He said GST is a latest tax reform through which Centre envisages to subsume all the tax in a single structure adding that J&K is also a strong votary to this new tax reform without tempering its constitutional rights.

Rather said that there has been a steady growth in the GSDP of the state during the last five years adding that in comparison to the GSDP figure of Rs. 42314.84 crore at current prices during the year 2008-09, the GSDP reached Rs. 75574.31 crore last year as per Quick Estimate, and is estimated to reach Rs. 87318.72 crore during the current financial year as per Advance Estimate. It has more than doubled during the last five years. The current year’s rate of growth over the last year’s figure works to 15.54%.

“At constant prices, the GSDP was Rs. 34664.22 crore in the year 2008-09. It is now estimated at Rs. 45399.45 crore for the current financial year, indicating an increase of about 31%”, Rather added. He said the state’s growth rate has been better as compared to all India level.
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News Updated at : Thursday, February 20, 2014
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