STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: National Conference Provincial President and MLA Nagrota Devender Singh Rana on Friday termed this year’s State Budget as just a jugglery of figures lacking direction and focused attention on key sectors of the State economy.
Taking part in the debate on the budget presented by Finance Minister Drabu, Rana said “Feel good factor generated by the government in the name of GST has not worked well”.
Reminding Finance Minister Drabu that his claims of having presented a budget with scope for investment, employment generation, infrastructure development is not based on facts as these are missing.
Alleging that the government does not explore the options of knowledge economy which would have opened doors for industrial expansion, Rana said “Mapping of the assets a commitment for the last three years is showing no headway”.
He sought increase wages of unskilled workers to Rs 325 instead of Rs 225 a day as offered by the central government.
Lamenting that the liabilities of contractors are rising and deserve immediate attention of the government, Rana said claims of the government about reducing the liabilities are a hoax, as reported by a Srinagar based news agency.
Rana identified some of the shortcomings in the proposed budget and suggested ‘areas of focus’ to cover the remaining sectors/sections. He asked for focused measures on employment generation, agriculture sector, capacity building, and power sector among others. He said that proposal of Rs 200 crore under NABARD for taking up major Water Supply Schemes next year is not sufficient to cater the demand. He pleaded for manpower audit, setting up of industrial units in rural areas and adequate funds for development of infrastructure in key sectors.
Rana said that enhancement in wages for unskilled labours is a good step but it should be increased up to Rs 350 as was given by the New Delhi Government. Further, he said that the new Financial Expenditure System for Budget allocations introduced with the last budget to streamline departmental spending, has not achieved efficiency yet and asked for giving more direction to administration functionaries for attaining its objectives of the initiative.
Rana welcomed welfare measures introduced for the employees in the Budget, and the interest shown in uplifting the State’s official language Urdu. He also urged him to take steps to recruit Urdu teachers in the state as promised earlier.
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