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JAMMU: Following are the highlights of the Budget 2015-16

GENERAL :

  • Total expenditure ` 46473 crore.
  • Total receipts ` 42137 crore.
  • Revenue Receipts ` 37814 crore.
  • Capital Receipts ` 4323 crore.
  • Own Tax Revenue estimated at ` 8006 crore.
  • Share of Central Taxes up at ` 8088 crore as against figure of  ` 4477 crore in Revised Estimates 2014-15.
  • Revenue Deficit Grants of ` 9892 crore as against ` 2096 crore in    2014-15.
  • Revenue Expenditure (RE) including  Security Related Expenditure (SRE) to touch ` 35227 crore.
  • Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) accounts for  `  11246 crore.
  • ` 499 crore  to be devolved to PRIs and ULBs under            14th FC grants.
  • Earmarked provision of ` 2200 crore for DA to employees and pensioners.
  • ` 154  crore provision in 2015-16  for 10% Employer’s share under New Pension Scheme introduced from January, 2010.
  • A provision of ` 25 crore for meeting cost of VRS/GHS in PSUs.
  • ` 1017 crore allocation for District Sector Capital Expenditure.

Objectives:

  • Enlarge constituency of peace in the State.
  • Sharing Dividends of peace with the people of J&K State.
  • Sustainable Growth and balanced development.
  • Self reliance and fiscal Autonomy.
  • Elimination of the corruption.
  • Rehabilitation and reconstruction of the State in distress and the economy in shambles.

Budgetary Reforms:

  • Change in the structure of state budget.
  • The new structure organises the budget under two main accounts i.e Revenue and Capital.
  • Plan and Non-Plan classifications discarded.
  • Separate Power Budget from next Fiscal.
  • Use of borrowings for creation of Capital Assets only.

Issues and Initiatives

  • Waiving off Demand Charges on electricity for seven months from September 2014 to March 2015.
  • Exemption of Passenger Tax on vehicles which remained off road due to floods, from September to December, 2014.
  • Remission of stamp duty chargeable in case of instruments/documents executed between borrowers and the lending financial institutions on the fresh loans advanced by such institutions to the persons affected by the floods to be extended up to March 31, 2016.
  • Exemption under the GST in respect of lodging services provided by hotels, lodges and guest houses to be extended up to end March, 2016.
  • Exemption to all hoteliers from payment of entry tax on furniture/office equipment/kitchen equipment/other goods imported into the state for replacement and refurbishment till June 2015.
  • Waiving off 50 per cent of the KCC loans for the smallest and most vulnerable farmers who have an outstanding balance of less than ` 1 lakh, for this purpose ` 150 crore are earmarked.
  • Introduction of Gold, Silver and Bronze Cards for certain categories of registered dealers, so as to recognize traders of repute.
  • Contemplation of amnesty under GST Act, 1962 for waiving of interest and penality.
  • Setting up an Alternative Dispute Resolutions Tribunal (ADRT) which will be empowered to speed track the settlement of all these cases. 
  • VAT exemption on Paddy, Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Floor, Atta, Maida, Suji & Besan to continue upto March, 2016.
  • Exemption of toll on export of fresh vegetables.
  • VAT remission for local industry to continue for another year.
  • Tax on Aluminium foil as packaging material reduced from 13.5% to 5%.
  • “Tree Spray Oil” placed as an agriculture product @ zero percent tax rate.
  • Exempt baby diapers, adult diapers and female sanitary  napkins from VAT.
  • Almonds and its kernels in zero per cent tax rate, on the analogy of walnut and walnut kernels.
  • “Aabiyana” abolished.
  • Business Process Re-engineering, financial restructuring and administrative reorganization of the ailing PSEs.
  • Setting up of an Asset Reconstruction Company in partnership with the J&K Bank and formulate a revival package where it feels that the revival of stressed assets is possible.
  • To float a Dal Development Bond for restoration of the Dal lake.
  • Setting up of Pesticide Regulation Authority which will approve and monitor all the pesticides that go into J&K.
  • Incentivization of any reputed international firm to set up a unit in the valley where most of this distress has been felt.
  • Introduction of  “loss of revenue insurance cover”.
  • Contribution of ₹ 1000 per month on behalf of every new born girl child for the next 14 years and on reaching 21 years she would receive around ` 6.5 lakhs. To begin with, a pilot in six districts with the most adverse child sex ratio.
  • New Scheme “Aasra”, only for widows or destitute women with no source of income. A zero balance saving account, life insurance of ₹  25,000, an accident cover of    25,000, sickness and disease cover of ₹ 5000 and maturity/survival  benefits of    25,000 after five years.
  • A scheme to provide succor to 50,000 widows and destitute women of the state and to provide ₹ 100 crore for this purpose in the form of an insurance cum saving scheme.
  • J&K State Family Benefit Scheme, wherein families whose income doesn’t exceed ₹ 75,000 per annum and who lose their breadwinner and are not covered under any other benefits will get a one-time financial assistance of ₹ 40,000.   A provision of ₹ 20 crore is being made for this scheme.
  • Existing rate of sales tax in lieu of services enhanced by 2%.
  • Levy of 5% VAT on computers and computer peripherals.
  • A uniform tax rate of VAT of 13.5% on inverters and UPS.
  • A modest increase of five paisa per Kilogram in the existing rates of toll.

Employee Welfare initiatives

 

  • DA pending March 31, 2015 shall be credited into the G.P. Fund account of the employees while DA will be paid in cash from April onwards. All employees covered under the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and pensioners will, however, receive the arrears in cash.
  • The Revenue Component of erstwhile Plan shifted on Revenue Account addressing the long pending demand of employees borne on Plan Budget.
  • Women employees of the State should be treated at par with Central Government Employees with regard to admissibility of Child Care Leave.
  • The Government will announce a High Power Committee of Ministers and some external experts, to confront with a gigantic problem of regularization of more than sixty one thousand workers engaged on casual basis.
  • ₹ 2.00 crore for enhancement of the retainership of various classes of Law Officers.

 

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  • Houses unanimously pass Resolution condemning Kathua, Samba attacks

 

 

JAMMU: Both the Houses of the State Legislature today passed a Resolution unanimously condemning the recent twin terror attacks that took place in Kathua and Samba districts. This followed the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s intervention in the Legislative Assembly when several Members, cutting across party lines, expressed serious concern over the two successive attacks.      

 

The Houses resolved unanimously to condemn the attacks and urged upon the Government of India to impress upon the Government of Pakistan to take all measures for preventing such dastardly acts in future for a lasting peace in the region so that the initiatives towards peace do not get derailed and allow the people of Jammu & Kashmir to get the dividends of peace process. The House, which is the most legitimate democratic institution representing the aspirations of the people of the State, resolves that the movement for peace and reconciliation will be carried forward with full force and the enemies of people will be defeated.     

 

Earlier, while speaking during the Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly as well as the Council, the Chief Minister said the attacks that were carried out in Kathua and Samba won’t defeat and weaken our resolve to bring in lasting peace in the region. “The relations between India and Pakistan won’t improve if such incidents continue to happen,” he said, while calling for a greater vigil on the borders to prevent such attacks.

 

Stating that such dastardly acts are timed to subvert the peace process that has recently been started between India and Pakistan, the Chief Minister said such forces which are desperate to disturb peace in the region won’t be allowed to succeed. He said if we have to carry forward the process of reconciliation, such incidents should not be repeated.

 

Urging Pakistan to rein in subversive elements operating from within its territory, the Chief Minister said a message has to go to it from our country’s strongest and most powerful Assembly that incidents like Samba and Kathua won’t be tolerated in future. “The roots of democracy have grown stronger in the State. There were no incidents on borders in the State from Kathua to Kargil between 2002 to 2008. We have invested a lot in the peace process. There are some rogue elements which, in the name of religion, are carrying out such acts. These elements will not be allowed to damage the fabric of peace in the State,” said the Chief Minister.    

The Chief Minister described the recently-held Assembly elections as free, fair and transparent which restored the faith of the people in the democratic institutions of the state and the country. “I urge all the people to allow the State of J&K to reap the rich dividends of peace, for which steps have been taken by the Government of India,” he said and added that the need of the hour is to broaden the peace constituency by strengthening the voices of dialogue and reconciliation.

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JAMMU: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed congratulated Minister for Finance, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, for presenting a people-friendly Budget in the Legislative Assembly today. Describing the Budget as all-inclusive that takes care of core sectors of development, the Chief Minister hoped that the policies and programmes adopted in the Budget 2015-16 shall take care of internal revenue generation and cater to the needs of all stakeholders in the State, particularly farmers and small and tiny traders, who have suffered tremendously in the worst-ever floods that took place in J&K in September last year.