Govt to use revenue generated from water charges, timber sales for repayment of JKIDFC debt

Jammu and Kashmir Government will use part of revenue generated from water usage charges and sale proceeds of timber for repayment of debts raised by JK Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation Limited (JKIDFC) to fund languishing and priority sector projects.

State Administrative Council (SAC) in its meeting chaired by Governor SP Malik on Wednesday gave nod to additional resource mobilisation by Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control and Forest Departments for repayment of loans borrowed by newly carved out JKIDFC.

“SAC approved the additional resource mobilisation and revenue stream to enhance budgetary resource for servicing debt raised by JKIDFC,” reads a government order.

Following the SAC decision, the Finance Department has asked the Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Food Control, Forest, Ecology and Environment Departments to ensure revenue mobilisation for JKIDFC.

“PHE, I&FC have been asked to increase efficiency of collection of water connection charges by way of covering all the unregistered consumers and improving collection efficiency of 100 percent. Forest Department to improve efficiency to ensure full extraction within permissible limit of 80 lakh cft,” reads another order issued by the Finance Department.

To mention, Supreme Court has put an upper cap on extraction of timber from J&K forests at 80 lakh cft per annum.

JKIDFC has been authorized to raise a loan not exceeding Rs 8000 crore from various financial institutions including state and nationalized banks for completion of unfunded, languishing projects in the state.

Governor’s Administration has set an ambitious target to complete 1717 languishing projects by the end of this year.

According to the details of 1717 languishing projects to be completed by the end of this year, major share is of Public Health Engineering and Irrigation and Flood Control Department having 700 languishing projects followed by Public Works (R&B) Department 300 and Power Development Department 168.

A total of 111 projects of School Education Department, 103 of Health and Medical Education Department, 79 of Industries and Commerce, 73 of Rural Development Department, 65 of Youth Services and Sports and 62 projects of Ladakh Affairs Department are also in the list of 1717 projects to be completed by the end of 2019.

A tentative assessment by the Planning, Development And Monitoring Department indicated that incomplete projects worth over Rs 10000 crore were at various stages and that over Rs 6000 crore would be required to complete all of them in one go.

The Planning Department has further analyzed that six departments namely PW(R&B), PHE/I&FC, School Education, Higher Education, Youth Services and Sports, Health and Medical Education and Tourism taken together accounted for nearly two thirds of the total unfunded burden. The projects in these six departments alone account for nearly Rs 4000 crore.