‘J&K not dependent on Delhi for financial needs’

Jammu: Dispelling the perception that Jammu and Kashmir is dependent on Centre to meet its financial needs, state Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather has  said whatever it receives from the Government of India is its right guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
He said grant-in-aid for the state is being decided by the Finance Commission under Articles 268 to 279 of the Constitution of India which deal with distribution of revenue between the Centre and states.
“Grant of funds is not the discretion of the Centre, but are transferred to all states under fixed norms. Jammu and Kashmir being a part of the Federation (Union of India), these funds are our right,” Rather, who also holds the portfolio of Lakah Affairs, said. Getting funds from the Centre doesn?t mean state is dependent on the central government, he added.
In his one-and-a-half hour long reply to two-day debate on Budget in the Legislative Assembly in which 26 members participated, Rather said state?s own tax revenue has been increasing at an average growth of 30 per cent since 2009.
The tax revenue, which was just Rs 2,683 crore in 2008-09, has increased to Rs 6,700 crore in current fiscal and is estimated to touch Rs 7,500 crore in the next financial year, he said.
This signifies an overall growth of more than two-and-a-half times in a period of five years and the annual growth rate comes to nearly 30 per cent, which is a record performance by any standard, the Minister added.
He said this steep increase in tax revenue has been registered without levying any fresh taxes. It is mainly on account of better fiscal management and plugging of loopholes in the existing taxation system, he added.