PLAN ALLOCATION DELAY PLUNGES JK INTO FISCAL MESS
Govt Manages Expenditure From Non-Plan Head
Jammu, May 10: Inordinate delay in allocation of annual plan for the current financial year by the Planning Commission of India has put the Jammu and Kashmir government in quandary – especially due to the limited financial resources and working season.
If sources within the power corridors are to be believed further delay in the process is likely to lead to severe financial crisis for the state government and affect the execution of development works on the ground, particularly in the rural areas which have only 5-6 months of working season.
Sources claimed that due to the delay in allocation and subsequent release of funds under `plan’ head, the government is presently managing its finances from the `non-plan’ head. “The `zero liability’ and `surplus balance’ from the last financial year has come handy for the state government”, sources, on the condition of anonymity told Greater Kashmir adding, “The availability of around Rs 600 crore collected by the state from NHPC as water usage charges, last year, was an additional advantage for the state government to meet the crises”.
“The water usage charges collected by the state government have to be kept under a special head created for its usage with various power related activities. However, the money is being utilized on temporary basis for meeting the urgent financial requirements”, sources claimed adding that the account will be adjusted once the money under plan head starts flowing into the state.
It was also reliably learnt that the center government is presently releasing around Rs 700 crore per month to the state government under non-plan head to meet various expenditures including salaries of the employees.
Pertinently, the state has projected a demand for Rs 7300 crore plan, which is 10 per cent up from the last year. This will be in addition to the special grant under Prime Minister Reconstruction Programme for which the home minister has indicated another extension this year. The state government is presently tactfully managing the financial affairs. Though there seems to be no immanent threat to its finances, the officials fear that any further delay will create problems.
However, Director General Accounts and Treasuries, Wali Muhammad Bhat, when contacted, said that the government is in healthy-financial state and there were no indication of any financial crises. “No bill has been returned unpaid from the treasuries and there was no shortfall of the money”, he claimed adding, “We are receiving central funds under various heads, including non-plan and the state’s share on the taxes”, he said adding, “Only the amount to be utilized under the plan head was awaited”.
He said that at the end of last financial year the state government had cleared all the liabilities while it has surplus amount available with it to meet such situation. “We have cleared the power bills till April and this month alone around Rs 75 Crore has been paid in this category”, Bhat said adding, “Around Rs 300 Crore third party liability was also cleared, which shows that we are managing our finances very well”. The Planning Commission of India was expected to take a final decision on the annual plan allocation to Jammu and Kashmir this month. Though the first three round meetings of the PC with the officials of Finance and Planning Departments of the state were completed, the state was waiting for the call for the final meeting to be attended by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah himself.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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