Dr Haseeb Drabu, the Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, on 11 January 2017 presented the Annual State Budget 2017-18 in the legislative assembly. The size of the budget is Rs 80000 crore.
The new budget was designed in accordance to the political uncertainty on the state. It was designed to insure all the assets of public importance including government buildings and artefacts of historical importance. It also seeks to cover the small and medium scale enterprises of the state.
Highlights of the budget
• The budget proposes for implementation of the 7th pay commission from 1 April 2018.
• It proposes to create a social security fund and provide a universal basic income to below the poverty line people.
• It proposes to provide specially designed micro-credit ATM cards with cash credit limit up to Rs 10000 to all registered construction workers. This card includes their life, health insurance and accidental benefits.
• It proposes to regularise all 61000 ad-hoc or casual daily wagers employed by previous NC-Congress government.
• It proposes to change the nomenclature of Government employees at lower levels.
• It calls for interest subvention scheme for public transport vehicle owners.
• It proposes a comprehension policy that can protect conversion of land.
• It proposes to set one zoo each in Jammu and Kashmir.
• It calls for the creation of e-Commerce platform to link 20000 artisans and weavers.
• In provides interest subvention of 50 per cent for setting modern walnut processing units and on bank loans for new tannery units.
• It earmarks Rs 2 crore for rehabilitation of the fur artisans.
• It proposes the setting of “Airwaan-e-Sahaafat”, a Kashmir press centre.
• In light of natural calamities, the budget proposes to devise a scheme for comprehensive insurance of nine crops including saffron, wheat, paddy maize, apple, mango, oil seeds and pulses among others.
• Through the budget, the government has tried to infuse capital into sick public sector units or the state and help J&K bank to clean up their balance sheet and come out of its governance failure.
• The budget also seeks to bring reforms in the operational efficiency of spending. To facilitate this, the facility of spending will be moved to a modern Public Management Approach from existing Public Administrative Budgeting.
• The budget also proposes to set up an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) in association with J&K bank that would buy the impaired assets of state subjects that are mortgaged to financial institutions. 51 per cent of the company will be in the hands of state government and the other 49 per cent will rest in the hands of J&K bank.
Besides, the budget also proposes to set up Mufti Memorial Gold Cup Football League, Shams Faqeer Institute of Sufi and Folk Music and a scheme of providing all weather mountain bikes for male students.