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Kashmir Newz Board

Government spending to cross $ 21 b in Kashmir

Jammu, January 16, 2008:

The government in Indian administered Kashmir today said that the cumulative spending will reach $ 21 billion in the next fiscal year.

Presenting the $ 4.6 billion state budget Wednesday in the state legislature at winter capital Jammu, Minister of Finance Tariq Hamid Karra said "In the last five years including the current fiscal, and the next financial year, we would have spent around Rs 87,000 Crore ($ 21.75 b) and raised approximately INR 80,000 crore ($ 20 b)."

The figures are more than what the state has spent and earned cumulatively in the decade preceding 2002-2003.

According to Karra, the previous government had spent INR 43,500 crore ($ 10.85 b) and earned INR 38,000 crore ($ 9.5 b).

"The resources raised are less than half of what we have done during our term," said Karra.

The finance minister while tabling the last budget of the coalition government said that such an expansive public expenditure policy is unprecedented and indicates the massive scale of operations of the Government.

"Not only has the size increased, the quality of spending has improved even more."

The opposition on the other has come down heavily over the budget, describing it an eye wash.

They called for details of the expenditure as according to them "despite such massive expenditure, no development can be seen on ground."

They interrupted the hour long speech by Karra with their occasional protests.

Opposition leader Abdul Rahim Rather described the budget as “playing with tricks.”

He asked for the reasons of bills pending worth INR 5 billion, "in spite of being the zero deficit budget."

"Government employees don't get salaries on time, state treasuries are usually without cash, number of projects get delayed due to non payment," said Rather.

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