Real growth

Finance minister, Abdul Rahim Rather Monday pointed to three important indicators suggesting state economy was doing fairly well. The FM said that state’s fiscal deficit “is perfectly within the targeted parameters of the 13th Finance Commission”, growth rate at constant prices had been 7.01 per cent— higher than the national average, and that the state’s own revenues had shown a very high growth over the years. The FM also dispelled the notion that the state “is completely dependent on central assistances”, saying that there had been a record mobilization of commercial taxes and stamp duties in 2011-12, and that the state’s own revenues had shown very high growth. According to the FM the state’s dependence on non-debt resources from the Central Government (as percentage of total expenditure) has come down from 67 per cent in 2006-07 to 63 per cent in 2011-12. So far so good! There is, however, a need for the government to seriously mull and introduce financial sector reforms so as to see the state growing on a par with some other states in India that have over the years shown wonderful results. The strife in the state should never be an excuse for the political regimes to evade their responsibility towards underpinning the economic structure of Jammu and Kashmir. And, it needs to be emphasized that no amount of financial reforms could be adequate and meaningful unless the state takes some bold initiatives in the power sector that over the years has become an Achilles’ heel for it. With the infinite wealth of water resources at its disposal, what state requires is a well-devised strategy to pursue a two-pronged goal of making Jammu and Kashmir self-reliant in energy sector. While in the long run the government would have to find out financial resources for developing large-scale hydle projects on its own, in the meantime it could seriously agitate its case for return of NHPC-run power projects in Jammu and Kashmir to the state. The financial stability in its energy sector where the government perforce spends financial resources beyond its means on procuring the power will automatically bring about a positive change in the overall financial structure of the state. If the state moves along that path, that would bring about the real growth in the economy.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST

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