Jammu, Dec 06: To give fillip to the developmental activities on the ground and ensure productive utilization of resources, the Finance Department today released well in advance 50% balance allocation of the Capex Budget to the districts for the current fiscal.
“Sanction is accorded to the utilization of 100% District Capex Budget2018-19 allocations, including 50% already authorized, in favour of all the District Development Commissioners (except Leh and Kargil) during current financial,” said an order issued by the Principal Secretary Finance Navin K Choudhary.
Navin said the government has ensured advance release of resources and now the need is to take the expenditure to the ground and ensure the benefits reach the people at the grassroots level.
According to the order the funds so released shall be utilized only for the purpose specified after observing all codal formalities/procedures as required under rules and shall not be available for further re-appropriation/diversion at any level and for any reason whatsoever.
“In accordance with the Appropriation Bill, District Development Commissioners shall ensure that all budget allocations have been maintained strictly and Budget announcements are accommodated,” it said and added that all the projects/schemes and infrastructure projects in particular, must be supported by technically vetted DPRs and must be prepared by the executing agencies in close consultation with User Agency.
The order said that only such works shall be authorized for execution, as have prior administrative approval, technical sanction and appropriate financial backup and all cost revisions must be sanctioned/approved by the Competent Authority.
It said the District Development Commissioners shall immediately release the funds to the line departments/executing agencies within a time period of 10 days beyond which it shall be deemed to have been released. “Expenditure during the last quarter shall be restricted to not more than 30% ofthe Budget Estimates,” it said adding that the latest authorization shall not be utilized for the schemes/projects approved for funding through JKIDFC under the scheme “Languishing Projects” and these projects/schemes shall be excluded from Capex Budget henceforth.
“The authorization shall not be available to meet expenses for engagement of casual workers, need based workers etc by any Department and there shall be no expenditure on Revenue or Revenue like items,” it said.
Adv Sharma holds pre-budget consultations with Kashmir business Inc
Srinagar, Dec 9: In a bid to facilitate industrial activity, businesses and trade by preparing more convenient budget for 2019-2020, Advisor to Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma today held a pre-budget consultation with the stake holders of Kashmir division.
Principal Secretary Finance, Navin Kumar Choudhary; Commissioner Sales Taxes, P K Bhat; Excise Commissioner Talat Parvez Rohella, Additional Commissioner, Sales Taxes, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Deputy commissioners of various units of Commercial Taxes and Excise departments and others were present during the consultations.
On the occasion, Advisor Sharma met with the various forums representing different sectors including Industrialists, hoteliers, manufacturers, traders and others and listened to their suggestions in order to come up with the more convenient budget.
Various suggestions were received from representatives of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Kashmir Brick Manufacturers Association, Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Association, Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Owners Federation, Kashmir Economic Forum, Bread Manufacturers Association of Kashmir, Cold Storage Association and Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir.
Besides, the representatives from Education Sector, tourism, Agriculture, Horticulture, tour and travel operators, Industrial Estates Zakura, Industrial Association Rangreth and others also put forward their suggestions while requesting Advisor Sharma to incorporate them in the upcoming budget.
The representatives of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association requested for formulation of budget for few power projects which will be owned by the state, saying, this will help in further adding to the financial stability of the state to a greater extent. They also called for inclusion of Petrol and Diesel under GST. The representatives urged the Advisor to relieve the handicrafts from the domain of GST.
These representatives also brought to the notice of Advisor that various promises with regards to the GST have been made to the people but are yet to be fulfilled adding to the increasing concern to the business fraternity. They also demanded that there should be proper awareness with regard to the process and issues under GST.
On the occasion, Advisor Sharma directed the concerned officials to setup the training centers in every district where the businessmen can get themselves acquainted with the knowhow of the GST. In these centers training will be given about all the basics of GST including how to file a return, he added.
The demand for constitution of the GST Advisory board in the State also came up during the discussion.
The representatives from the Private schools demanded that the government should identify the place in Kashmir which can be later developed as the education hub. Around 2000 crore rupees is spent by the Kashmiri students to study in various parts of the world outside Kashmir, the representative said.
The issue of not implementing of Amnesty Schemes for industrialists and hoteliers including waiving off of interest, penalties and charging of power tariff at par with industrial rates for industrialists and hoteliers announced in the State Budget 2018-19 was also discussed by various representatives.
Transporters said that the transport sector is in very bad shape and demanded special focus on its betterment.
While calling tourism one of the huge employment generating sectors, the representatives from tourism sector demanded establishment of an agency to look into the wrong and negative perception given through media about Kashmir.
Advisor Sharma gave a patient hearing to the suggestions by various stake holders and assured the delegations that their submissions will be given a thorough deliberation for inclusion in the State Budget to achieve better results on ground.
Candle light protests held on Joint Hurriyat call
Srinagar, Dec 9: In view of the ongoing Human Rights Week, the Hurriyat Conference (M) and Awami Action Committee (AAC) activists on call of Joint Hurriyat Leadership continued to hold candlelight protests for the straight seventh Day.
On Sunday evening protest was held at Nowshera, Malbagh areas of Srinagar in which a number of people also participated.
The protestors raised the slogans demanding stop of Human Rights Violations on people of Kashmir. Today’s protest by APHC and ACC workers, activists marked the seventh day of ongoing protests held in length and breadth of Kashmir valley to aware the world community about the gross human rights violations unleashed on the people of Kashmir.
Not all vehicles running in Kashmir carry High Security Registration Plates
Srinagar, Dec 9: Even as having a High Security Registration Plate (HSRP) has been mandatory, the vehicles have been running on the streets in the valley without them.
In 2012, the government introduced HSRP, aiming to curb theft of vehicles and their subsequent hazardous use.
The last year, having a HSRP was made mandatory for all the vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir.
Bashir Ahmad, a middle-aged man, doesn’t have one on his car.
He said: “This may not be a problem for the new buyers, as all new vehicles come with pre-fitted HSRPs. If the authorities are so concerned, why don’t they take some serious measures to ensure compliance to the rule?”
Wasim Khan, a student at Kashmir University, was recently fined by police for not having a HSRP.
“The next day, I managed to find the facility where HSRPs are available. But it was quite crowded. I was told that it would take three hours to get the plate installed. I then had to take a day off from work and get it done,” he rued.
Every HSRP has a chromium-based hologram hot-stamped on its top-left corner. A vehicle is supposed to have one each of these plates at the front and back.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways recently, in a draft notification, announced its intention to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989.
“Come January 1, 2019, HSRP will be made mandatory for vehicle manufacturers and their dealers who will have to place a mark of registration on number plates and affix them on the vehicles,” the draft said.
Transport Commissioner, SP Vaid said, “No new vehicle is allowed without a HSRP plate. On old number plates, our enforcement agencies are on the job. Wherever they notice a violation, they do the needful.”