Proceedings of Legislative Assembly on 23 Feb 2014

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No debt trap, fiscal deficit on decline: Fin Min
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23: Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather today allayed the apprehensions of many members of the House that the State has plunged into a debt trap and the fiscal deficit of the State is on rise.
Replying to the supplementaries on a question regarding fiscal deficit raised by Sofi Abdul Gaffar in the House, the Minister said fiscal deficit of the State is on continuous decline and as per the targeted 4.2%, it stood at 3.37% for the previous year. Similarly, he said, the debt percentage of GSDP for the State stood at 49.67%, well below the target of 53.6% for 2012-13. He said the targets are fixed as per the provisions of Financial Regulation and Budget Management Act.
Replying to the main question, the Minister said that the State has performed well and has been achieving the financial targets from 2010-11 onwards. He said the Government has initiated a number of measures to institutionalize the path of fiscal correction and consolidation. He said measures like rationalization of tax structure, introduction of new pension scheme, stipendiary mode of recruitment, VAT reforms, etc have been taken to streamline fiscal management.
The Minister said that on the recommendation of 12th and 13th Finance Commissions, the State passed the Financial Regulation and Budget Management Act in 2009 which determines the targets for fiscal deficit and other budgetary provisions.
Abdul Rehman Veeri, M. Y Tarigami, Ashwani Sharma and Nasir Aslam Wani raised supplementaries on the question.

Rs. 795.06 cr released under CDFs in State: Sadhotra
Minister for Planning and Development, Mr. Ajay Kumar Sadhotra today informed the House that funds to the tune of Rs.795.06 crore have been released by Legislators and Parliament Members of the State for development of various kinds of works in the State during last three fiscals and current financial year under Constituency Development Fund. He said against this amount Rs. 603.38 crore have been utilized on various developmental works in various constituencies of the State during the said period.
Replying to a question by Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, the Minister said that an amount of Rs. 11.28 crore has been utilized in Jammu city during the last three fiscals and current fiscal under CDF scheme and out of which Rs. 5.61 crore were utilized in Jammu East, Rs. 3.91 crore in Jammu West and Rs. 1.75 crore in Gandhi Nagar Constituencies.
The Minister said that the developmental works identified by an MLAs for funding out of his CDF are being executed as per the fund flow approved by MLA.
The Minister informed that during last three fiscals and current fiscal Rs. 407.68 crore have been allocated to Jammu district under District Plan against which Rs. 344.91 crore have been utilized under different sectors, adding that out of which Rs. 109.47 crore have been allocated to Jammu district under district plan during current financial year and against which Rs. 45.20 crore expended under different sectors upto December last.
The Minister said that Rs. 498.33 crore were allocated to Jammu Municipal Corporation under different schemes under State Plan during last three financial year adding that during current financial year Rs. 4.79 crore have been released as 50% authorization for carrying out different works under various schemes in Jammu Municipal Limits.
The Minister informed that Rs. 788.02 crore have been allocated under Devolution/Grant-in-Aid and CSS under JNNURM during last three financial years while as Rs. 84.58 crore were allocated during current financial year to Municipal Corporation Jammu for carrying out different civic works.
Mr. Bharat Bushan, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh, Mr. Ashok Kumar and Mr. Ashok Khajuria raised supplementaries on the question.

Govt. notifies 45 villages as backward: Sakina
Minister for Social Welfare, Ms. Sakina Itoo today informed the House that the Government has recently notified 45 villages as backward areas on the recommendations of Jammu and Kashmir Backward Classes Commission.
Replying to a question by Mr. Javaid Mustafa Mir, the Minister said that no such recommendations in respect of villages of Chadoora Constituency have been received from the Commission yet, as various criteria/parameters are adopted by the Commission for declaring any area as backward. The Minister added that as and when any recommendation from the Commission is received appropriate action will be taken.
The Minister said that the exercise to de-notify the villages after the specified period of 10 years as envisaged under the Act shall be undertaken in consultation with the Commission at an appropriate time depending upon the improvement of indicators in already notified backward areas.

Bun Chek bridge, Pulwama likely to be completed during 2014-15: Sadhotra
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23: Minister for Planning and Development Department, Mr. Ajay Sadhotra today informed the Legislative Assembly that construction of Bun Chek bridge, Rajpora, Pulwama is likely to be completed during 2014-15. He said the Chief Minister had ordered the ERA to take up the construction of the bridge, including its approaches on the demand of public in October 2013.
Replying to a Calling Attention Notice of Syed Bashir Ahmed in the House today, the Minister said the construction of Bun Check bridge was sanctioned under ADB Loan assistance at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.90 crore in 2007 and the work was allotted to M/S Sohrab Iqbal Goni, in April 2008. He said an amount of Rs. 85.00 lakh was spent by the contractor. However, due to the poor performance of the contractor, the contract was terminated in November 2010, and the work was handed-over to PW (R&B) Department, Kashmir for execution/completion of balance works, he added.

RELATED NEWS

Work on Palra Chakaal Chigla–Balota road to commence soon: Wani
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23: Minister for R&B, Mr. Abdul Majid Wani today informed the House that forest clearance for construction of 26.55 kms of Palra Chakaal to Chigle Balota road, in Ramnagar constituency sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 15.92 crore under phase –VII of PMGSY has been accorded by the Forest Advisory Committee and in the intervening period stage –II of the road also sanctioned during last fiscal.
Replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Harshdev Singh in the House, the Minister informed that work on the road in stage I&II were put to e-tendering and letter of intent stands issued in favour of Contractor, adding that the construction work on this road would commence shortly.

Centre approves revision of incentives for ASHA’s: Saifullah
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mir Saifullah today informed the House that Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has conveyed approval of the Mission Steering Group (MSG) of the National Rural Health Mission(NRHM) to the revision of rates of existing ASHA incentives including enhancement of cost norms from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 16,000 per ASHA per year including training cost, supervision/support cost, cost of job aids, tools/ kits and other monetary incentives.
Replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Mr. M. Y. Tarigami, the Minister informed that in addition, incentives for some new activities have also been approved enabling each ASHA to earn incentive of about Rs. 1000 per month.
The Minister said the requirement of funds, as per the revised cost norm including incentives for new activities, is being projected in the State Programme Implementation Plan of NRHM for next the next financial year.

Rs. 35.60 cr Terminal market being set up at Jablipora, Bijbehara: Bhalla
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23: Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture, Mr. Raman Bhalla today informed the House that a Terminal Horticulture market is being established at Jablipora, Bijbehara by Horticulture Planning & Marketing Department at an estimated cost of Rs. 35.60 crore, adding that in this regard 440 kanals of land has been transferred for the purpose.
Replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Mr. A. R. Veeri in the ouseHHHouse, the Minister said that funds for the purpose would be arranged from NABARD and market would be developed under Public Private Partnership Mode.
The Minister said that the foundation stone of this terminal market, has already been laid by the Chief Minister and 340 shop sites have tentatively been carved out, and an amount of Rs. 17 crore is expected as premium which would also be utilized for its development after finalization of the allotment of shop sites.
The Minister informed that a notification was issued on October 22, 2013, where under applications for allotment of shop sites in the said market were invited. He said, however, some Fruit Associations challenged the terms and conditions of the notification in the High Court which in its interim order has stayed the notification due to which further action could not be taken.
The Minister said that due to overwhelming response to the advertisement notice, approximately 980 applications have been received. He said the High Court has also been informed about the importance of the Terminal Market in South Kashmir and steps are being taken to get the stay vacated so that the allotment process is finalized and construction work started, he added.

BRO releases Rs. 21.22 cr compensation for Handwara, Laachi-Nowgam road, Rs 16.16 cr disbursed: Ajaz
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23: Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Mr. Ajaz Ahmad Khan today informed the House that the Handwara, Laachi-Nowgam road is being executed by the BRO and for the purpose an amount of Rs. 21.22 crore has been received by the Collector from BRO. Out of which Rs. 16.16 crore have been disbursed to the rightful claimants including expenditure incurred on shifting of public utilities.
Replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Er. S.A. Rashid in the House today, the Minister said in respect of 6 villages namely Chotipora, Kargam, Maratgam, Hangah, Sudergund and Payeen full payment has been made and possession taken over by the BRO. He said in respect of other villages namely Batagund, Chontipora, Qalamabad, Lach, Sanzipora, Mawar, Yahama and Nowgam, the payment of compensation is under process. He said in respect of village Yahama and Nowgam the assessment of structures and trees is under process with R&B and Horticulture departments, besides the payment of compensation for village Batagund is pending due to verification of new settlement record. For village Nowgam the work is held up due to objection of farmers regarding alignment of road.
The Minister said that there is no failure regarding the payment of compensation for land / structures to the rightful claimants. He said as far as Yehama-Mankal road is concerned, it is being constructed under PMGSY and Yahama and Mankal villages are included in the said road.

Papers laid in the House
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23- Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather on behalf of Chief Minister, today laid on the table of the House Half –Yearly- Reports for the period 01.01.2011 to 30.06.2011, 01.07.2011 to 31.12.2011, 01.01.2012 to 30.06.2012 and 01.07.2012 to 31.12.2012 as provided under Section 9-A of the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act, Samvat 2006.
The Minister also laid on the tabled of the House Annual Report/Regulations issued by the Jammu and Kashmir State Electricity Regulatory Commission for the year 2012-13 in pursuance of the Section 82 of the Jammu and Kashmir Electricity Act, 2010.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Mr. Ajaz Ahmad Khan also laid on the table of the House a copy of Jammu and Kashmir Underground Public Utilities (Acquisition of Rights of User in Land) Ordinance, 2013 (Ordinance No. IV of 2013).

LA passes Appropriation Bills
JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23- The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today passed two Bills unanimously.
The Bills included Authorization of Payment and appropriation of certain sums from and out of the consolidated Fund of the Jammu and Kashmir State for services of the financial year-2013-14 (L.A. Bill No. 9 of 2014).
The Other Bill to provide for the withdrawal of certain sums from and out of the consolidated fund of the Jammu and Kashmir State for the services of the financial year 2014-15 (L.A. Bill No. 10 of 2014).
The Bills were moved by the Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather in the House.
Earlier, six members took part in the brief discussion on the Bills. They identified some areas which needs to be given focused attention in the public interest. The Members who participated in the discussion included, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Mr. M. Y. Tarigami, Mr. Harshdev Singh, Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri, Mr. Balwant Singh Mankotia and Ch. Zulfikar Ali.

No debt trap, fiscal deficit on decline: FM

            JAMMU, FEBRUARY 23: Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather today allayed the apprehensions of some members of the House that the State has plunged into a debt trap and the fiscal deficit of the State is on rise.

Replying to the supplementaries on a question of Sofi Abdul Gaffar regarding State’s fiscal deficit in the Legislative Assembly, the Finance Minister said fiscal deficit of the State is on continuous decline, adding that as against the target of 4.2%, for the last financial year, it stood at 3.37%. Similarly, the total outstanding debt as a percentage of GSDP for the State stood at 49.67%, which was well below the ceiling of 53.6%, he added. He said that these targets have been prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.

Mr. Rather also presented the year wise figures since 2005-2006 to explain that the fiscal deficit which was alarmingly high at 9.92 % against the target of 5.5%  in 2005-2006, has come down to just 3.37% during the last fiscal (2012-13).He said in 2006-07 and 2007-08 the fiscal deficit was much more than the prescribed targets, adding that it was 6.66% in 2006-07 against a target of 5%, 7.14% against the target of 4.5%  in 2007-08 and 7.78% against target of 4% in 2008-09, however after 2009-10, when the present Government initiated various institutional measures in the path of fiscal correction and consolidation, the State’s fiscal deficit came under control and has remained well below the targets at present . In 2010-11 it was only 4.15% against the target of 5.3% and further came down to 4.2% against the target of 4.7% in 2011-12. It further reduced to 3.37% against the target of 4.2% during the last financial year (2012-13).

Similarly, he said, the State’s total outstanding debit as a percentage of GSDP has remained within the prescribed limits under FRBM Act since 2010-11, adding that it was 52.6% against the permissible limit of 56% in 2010-11, 51.84% against the limit of 55.1 % in 2011-12 and 49.67% against the limit of 53.6% in 2012-13.  He added that these year-wise figures clearly show that the State’s debt percentage was within the permissible limits and it was totally incorrect to say that the State was heading towards a debt trap.

The Minister said the State has also taken measures like rationalization of tax structure, introduction of new pension scheme, stipendiary mode of recruitment; VAT reforms, etc to streamline its fiscal management.

The Minister said that on the recommendation of the twelfth Finance Commission, the State passed the FRBM Act in 2006 which has been amended in 2009 to incorporate the recommendations made by the thirteenth Finance Commission. The Act determines the targets for fiscal deficit and other budgetary responsibilities of the Government.

About steps taken towards fiscal consolidation, the Minister said the process of fiscal reforms has been started by the State Government by liquidating its structural overdraft (OD) liability of Rs. 2965 crore with the J&K Bank as it stood on 01-04-2010 and shifting to arrangements of Ways and Means with RBI, by which measure the State has not only saved approximately Rs. 225 crore per year on interest outgo but has also, in fact, made an earnings of approximately Rs. 35 crore till now. The Minister said the present Ways and Means System with RBI has proved to be advantageous to the State Government, adding that an outright grant of Rs. 1000 crore has flown to the State Government during the year 2010-11 to liquidate the Over Draft with the J&K Bank. In addition, Rs.1300 crore Open Market Borrowing was allowed to the State Government for liquidation of the Over Drafts outside the FRBM arrangements. He said that the WMA facility is available to the State Government on ratio-rate fixed by the RBI from time to time, without any other transaction/commission charges by the RBI.

Abdul Rehman Veeri, M. Y Tarigami, Ashwani Sharma and Nasir Aslam Wani raised supplementaries on the question.

 

    2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
1.Fiscal deficit as a % of GSDP

 

Target 5.5 5.0 4.5 4.00 4.00 5.3 4.7 4.2
Actuals 9.92 6.66 7.14 7.78 9.02 4.15 4.2 3.37
ii. Debt as a %  of GSDP 56.0 55.1 53.6
52.6 51.84 49.67

Rs. 795.06 cr released under CDFs in State: Sadhotra

          Minister for Planning and Development, Mr. Ajay Kumar Sadhotra today informed the House that funds to the tune of Rs.795.06 crore have been released by Legislators and Parliament Members of the State for development of various kinds of works in the State during last three fiscals and current financial year under Constituency Development Fund. He said against this amount Rs. 603.38 crore have been utilized on various developmental works in various constituencies of the State during the said period.

          Replying to a question by Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, the Minister said that an amount of Rs. 11.28 crore has been utilized in Jammu city during the last three fiscals and current fiscal under CDF scheme and out of which Rs. 5.61 crore were utilized in Jammu East, Rs. 3.91 crore in Jammu West and Rs. 1.75 crore in Gandhi Nagar Constituencies.

          The Minister said that the developmental works identified by an MLAs for funding out of his CDF are being executed as per the fund flow approved by MLA.

          The Minister informed that during last three fiscals and current fiscal Rs. 407.68 crore have been allocated to Jammu district under District Plan against which Rs. 344.91 crore have been utilized under different sectors, adding that out of which Rs. 109.47 crore have been allocated to Jammu district under district plan during current financial year and against which Rs. 45.20 crore expended under different sectors upto December last.

          The Minister said that Rs. 498.33 crore were allocated to Jammu Municipal Corporation under different schemes under State Plan during last three financial year adding that during current financial year Rs. 4.79 crore have been released as 50% authorization for carrying out different works under various schemes in Jammu Municipal Limits.

          The Minister informed that Rs. 788.02 crore have been allocated under Devolution/Grant-in-Aid and CSS under JNNURM during last three financial years while as Rs. 84.58 crore were allocated during current financial year to Municipal Corporation Jammu for carrying out different civic works.

          Mr. Bharat Bushan, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh, Mr. Ashok Kumar and Mr. Ashok Khajuria raised supplementaries on the question.

Govt. notifies 45 villages as backward: Sakina

          Minister for Social Welfare, Ms. Sakina Itoo today informed the House that the Government has recently notified 45 villages as backward areas on the recommendations of Jammu and Kashmir Backward Classes Commission.

Replying to a question by Mr. Javaid Mustafa Mir, the Minister said that no such recommendations in respect of villages of Chadoora Constituency have been received from the Commission yet, as various criteria/parameters are adopted by the Commission for declaring any area as backward. The Minister added that as and when any recommendation from the Commission is received appropriate action will be taken.

The Minister said that the exercise to de-notify the villages after the specified period of 10 years as envisaged under the Act shall be undertaken in consultation with the Commission at an appropriate time depending upon the improvement of indicators in already notified backward areas.