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PMDP shocker: JK got Rs 275 Cr for health, failed to submit UCs, Rs 600 Cr stuck




Srinagar, Jan 02: The J&K Government has failed to provide utilisation certificates of Rs 275 crore it received from the Government of India in 2016-17 to create and upgrade peripheral healthcare infrastructure in the state.

The delay has put a freeze on any further allocations out of the Rs 900-crore project that was approved in Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) 2015 for augmenting health infrastructure in the state.

The matter came to fore in a review meeting chaired by Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs, Rajiv Gauba, at New Delhi on November 11.


Chief Secretary J&K, B B Vyas, along with other top officials from the state and centre attended the meeting.

In addition to not providing the utilisation certificates, the J&K government is yet to release its balance share of Rs 27.5 crore (10 percent) for that year, the meeting was told.

In most Government of India schemes implemented in J&K, the state is expected to provide only 10 percent of the cost, while the remaining 90 is funded by the Centre.

The state is also failed to provide Detailed Project Reports and gap analysis in respect of the balance works which are pending approval under PMDP- 2015.

While the State’s Health Ministry, day in and day out, come out with rosy statements, a look at their spending pattern, reveals, if nothing more, the administrative unwillingness even as ample money and resources are available to them.

Official documents revealing the recent figures show the state has only spent Rs 151 crores of the Rs 275 crore released by GoI with most of the project works in upgrading the peripheral health infrastructure undone.

Of the 114 works under the project, most included upgrading District, Sub-District Hospitals (SDHs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across J&K.

However, the physical progress statuses against at least 105 of them either show “work yet to start”, “work started” or “work nearing completion”.

A few amongst the undone lot are: District Hospital of Kupwara (where only the columns of the to-be constructed IPD block have been raised), Trauma Hospital Bijbehara (where “brick work is under progress”), 50-bedded CHC at Hajin Bandipora (“work nearing completion”), SDH Bhaderwah (“Hospital blocks completed and made functional except two Operation Theatres”), SDH Magam (“work nearing completion”), Children Hospital Srinagar (“Structure raised, finishing in progress”).

The 900-crore PMDP project of upgrading health infrastructure in J&K is supposed to be completed by 2018-19. Going by the present pace, another delay of delays is inevitable.


Lead Stories

JK’s liability swells

Mudassir Kuloo



Srinagar, Jan 17: Similar to previous years, Jammu and Kashmir has accrued a liability of over Rs 7,000 crore in the ongoing fiscal even as experts blame state’s political leadership for not finding a solution to the issue.

Official documents of the finance department reveal that the state is running a liability of Rs 7,531 crore so far this fiscal, a figure close to the annual build-up J&K witnesses every year.

The total liabilities for the state have now swelled up to over Rs 68,000 crore.“The three fiscal parameters–revenue deficit, fiscal deficit and outstanding liability–indicate the extent of overall fiscal balance in the finances of the state government during the specified period. The nature of deficit is an indicator of the prudence of budgetary policy of the state government. Another useful measure of the deficit-base in a state’s fiscal policy is the State’s Own Deficit (SOD),” the documents reveal.


Noted economist, Professor Nisar Ali said the state’s expenditure and revenue system has been “mismanaged”.“The power purchase has been an important factor for swelling liabilities. The GST has further increased the mismanagement between expenditure and tax revenue,” he said.

Prof Ali also blamed J&K’s political leadership for increasing liabilities.“The annual liabilities increase due to power purchases despite the state having huge hydro resources. The state’s leadership has failed to fight for the return of power projects.

“It also depends upon the government of India how it wants to find a solution to this problem,” he added.

Endorsing Prof Ali’s views, a senior official of the finance department said that little or no use of revenue generation avenues, increasing power purchases and bulging expenditure on salaries are the main contributors to the escalating liabilities of the state.“There is a steep rise in salary and pension bills, power deficit, rising interest liabilities, loan repayments, and deficit on account of non-tax revenue,” the official said.


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Lead Stories

Conducive atmosphere inevitable for dialogue: Farooq



Srinagar, Jan 17: Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) president, Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said that the favourable atmosphere is inevitable for dialogue, which is the only way out to settle the issues.
Addressing party workers in Jammu, Dr Farooq said that the dialogue is the only way out to resolve the issues but there is a need of conducive atmosphere which is inevitable. He added that “under the shades of gun, no dialogue process is possible. We have to stop bullet culture for lasting peace in the region.”
“NC has also given priority to the people. When I became Chief Minister in 1996, I fought with many things as the school were shut, no bridge was there, no office was functioning as the people were frightened by the turmoil then, but I stood up to fight against the forces who were inimical to peace.”
About 35 percent reservation in other states, Dr Farooq said that the incumbent Chief Minister of Odissa, Naveen Patnayak has written to him, suggesting there should be reservation of 35 percentfor women in Jammu and Kashmir also. “We will implement the law, which will ensure 35 percent reservation to women in the State once getting into the power,” he said.
However, he said that it is not easy to take such decisions as when his government took a decision to make 50 percent reservation for girls in Medical College then some people knocked the door of Supreme Court to put halt over the decision.
Dr Farooq also appealed the party workers to work hard and ensure the win of NC leaders who will be contesting the elections.

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Abundant snowfall in January makes Gulmarg the perfect winter-destination for tourists

Bisma Bhat



Srinagar, Jan 17: Unlike last January, the abundant snowfall so far this month has attracted a lot of tourists to Gulmarg as the destination is brimming with over 90 per cent occupancy these days.

The valley has received at least four moderate to heavy snowfalls this year with an even stronger wet spell predicted from January 19 to 23.
Tourists from across the world are cherishing this and making their way to Gulmarg, whose slopes offer a perfect destination for skiing.

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, CEO Gulmarg Development Authority, Syed Hanief Balkhi said that most of the hotels are fully occupied as people are heading to Gulmarg to enjoy the charismatic scenery offered by the snow-covered hills.“Gulmarg is under 4-5 feet snow and is looking like a playground these days. Tourists from India and abroad enjoy skiing, snow cycling, ice skating, snow-sculptor activity, sledge-racing and other games here,” he said.


Apart from the hoteliers, the rush of the tourists, Balkhi said, has provided good workdays for sledge keepers, skating guides, local cab drivers and many others associated with tourism.

In 2018, as per the official figures, Gulmarg received 5.76 lakh tourists as compared to 5.69 lakh in the preceding year.

The tourism players also expressed satisfaction over the rush of tourists heading to the valley.

President Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation, Wahid Malik said that snowfalls have pushed up the number of tourists visiting the valley.
“Gulmarg saw lesser arrival when winters begun, however, now the snow has ensured all the hotels and resorts are booked,” he said adding that Gulmarg hotels are running on 90 per cent occupancy so far this season.

Gulmarg is declared the ‘heartland of winter sports in India’ by the Winter Games Federation. This year too, Gulmarg Tourism Authority is going to organise winter sports carnival starting from the first week of February.

Additional Director Tourism Department, Nasir Khan said that Gulmarg is “rocking these days as it has received 34,712 and 35,022 tourists in the month of November and December”.

“We are going to organize the winter carnival from the next month to make the place more attractive,” he said.

He added that night market and cultural shows will also be arranged by the department.

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