Promises made by Fin Minister last year to be fulfilled before the next budget session


Jammu, December 29: The Finance minister of State Dr Haseeb Drabu is trying to leave no stone unturned while presenting his second budget in the upcoming budget session of the state legislative assembly. But, do you know there is a long list of promises he had made in his maiden budget speech last year which is yet to be converted into reality.

There were several announcements made and assurances held out by Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu in the budget 2014-15 that he presented on March 22 of this year but there is no way we see them being implemented in the near future. For instance, in his last year’s speech, Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu made a tall promise of introduction of new Industrial Policy and White Paper on about Rs 9000 crores worth liabilities left by the previous National Conference-Congress Government but there has been zero progress on the ground.

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It is now almost an year but the implementation of this much hyped White Paper on financial position of the State was nowhere in the sight.

In the opinion of a former minister and CLP Leader Rigzin Zora, Drabu ran away from the idea of coming out with White Paper when he demanded that it should cover his period from 2002 to 2008 as the Economic Advisor to PDP-Congress Government.

Pertinently Rigzin Zora was the Power Minister in the same Government. He explained that, there was a power reforms grant worth Rs 3900 crores given by the then UPA Government on power sector but Drabu instead of using it for the said purposes diverted entire amount for other expenditure.

He further said that the idea of White Paper is good but it was Drabu, who shied away when I pointed out glaring example of diverting the power reforms grant.

Also, it was not just the promise of white paper that has been forgotten by the Finance Minister but also the promise of Industrial Policy.

In another announcement made by him in the budget speech, he said that the new Industrial Policy will be in place by July 1, 2015 which is nowhere in sight till date. The sources said that it is not only Finance Ministry, Industries and Commerce Minister Chander Prakash Ganga has also been making only tall claims of coming out with the Industrial Policy, giving deadlines after deadlines, but has failed to come out with it.

In the absence of any Industrial Policy, unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir are being forced to stay dependent on few jobs advertised by state government or to shift to other States in search of job opportunities.

“Creating conditions for youth in private sector with huge emoluments per annum,’’ was the tall slogan given by Haseeb Drabu in his post-budget press conference so that they didn’t have to look for private jobs. But this remained a mere slogan since no efforts were made either by the Finance or by the Industries and Commerce Ministries to bring industries to Jammu and Kashmir to provide employment to the youth.