Yearly salary, pension bill touches Rs 28,963 crore
Despite fiscal constraints, the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to implement 7th pay commission has cost state exchequer additional Rs 9,000 crore in 2018. “Jammu and Kashmir was the first state to have implemented the 7th pay commission recommendations for its employees. Not only this, arrears also being paid to the employees in the current year itself. This has caused an estimated additional burden on the state exchequer to the tune of Rs 9000 crore,” reads an official communiqué of the state government.
According to the official figures of state’s finance department the state salary and pension bills have touched Rs 28,963 crore in 2018-19, of which Rs 23,863 is the salary component, while as remaining Rs 5100 crore is pension amount to be payable to the retired government employees.
In last two years alone, the salary/pension bills have witnessed an annual increase of Rs 9,593 crore. In cash-starved Jammu and Kashmir, the government paid Rs 19,370 crore as salary and pension to its employees in 2016-17.
Interestingly, last year, state’s chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam while speaking at a function here, said “J&K government is not even able to meet its salary bill out of its own revenue. State doesn’t have enough financial resources to meet its own salary bills.”
After analysing the salary, pension bills, it has come to fore that during 7 years, the salary bill of government has witnessed mercurial rise. In 2011-12, the salary bill of government was Rs 10113 crore which rose uptoRs 23,863 crore in 2018-19—thus seeing an increase of Rs 13,750 crore.
Similarly, pension bills have witnessed an increase of Rs 1804 crore in the same period —from Rs 3296 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 4216 crore at present.
“Paucity of resources and other limitations add to the severity of the issues which need focused attention to make conditions conducive for the economic and social growth. There is a steep rise in salary and pension bills, administrative costs, burgeoning hidden subsidies including power deficit, rising interest liabilities and loan repayments, deficit on account of non-tax revenue, increased interest payments outgo,” said a senior government official.
The state government liabilities according to official figures of finance department have touched Rs 68,204 crore, of which Rs 37,418 crore are internal debt, Rs 1405 crore is loans, advances for central government, Rs 38,823 crore total public debt, insurance and pension funds Rs 909 crore, provident funds Rs 20,010 crore.
Since last finance year, liabilities have increased by Rs 7,531 crore. In 2016-17 liabilities were Rs 60,673 crore which has increased to Rs 68,204 crore.
In comparison to 2011-12, Rs 36,256 crore the state’s liabilities have witnessed an increase of whopping 88 percent in last six years. In 2012-13 liabilities recorded was Rs 40,248 crore, 2013-14 Rs 44,646 crore, 2014-15 Rs 48,314 crore, 2015-16, Rs 55,346 crore.