JK on brink of financial breakdown

JK on brink of financial breakdown

Srinagar: The Jammu Kashmir Governor NN Vohra Wednesday has sought help from the union finance minister, Arun Jaitly to tide over the “grave financial crisis” in the state as the liability swelled to Rs 2200 Crore.
Vohra, who took over the reins of state administration on January 8 amid impasse over government formation following fractured mandate in assembly polls, addressed the detailed communication to Jaitley after holding several rounds of personal discussions with the State Planning and Finance Secretaries, and consultations with the Chief Secretary, an official spokesman said here.
“The Governor’s letter to the Finance Minister brings up the severe difficulties faced in funding the Annual Plan (2014-15) and the virtual break down of the State’s financial balance,” the spokesman said.
To help get through the severe financial difficulties, Governor is likely to meet Jaitely in New Delhi in next few days.
“Action is also being taken for the Governor to visit Delhi for meeting the Finance Minister and seeking his urgent help to enable the State Government to tide over the obtaining crisis,” the spokesman added.
Due to the crisis, employees, pensioners as well as contractors are facing tremendous hardships due to non-payment of their GP Fund, Gratuity bills and outstanding payment respectively for the last few months.
As a result of the crisis, sources said, several development works have been stalled as many contractors are demanding release of pending bills.
Of the liabilities, they said, nearly Rs 1000 crore pertain to Kashmir, rest to Jammu region.
In Saddar Treasury here, scores of contractors had to return disappointed after being told about the crisis.
“From last more than two weeks, we are being told treasury is completely dry,” a group of contractors told Kashmir Reader.
The contractors said that due to the non-clearance of their bills, they are facing tremendous hardship.
“It is getting very hard for us with every passing day. We are unable to even pay labourers, most of whom have large families to sustain.”
There is also strong resentment among the employees and pensioners against the Government as their own money was not released.
Sources said that Rs 500 crore is pending on account of General Provident Fund (GPF) of the employees and Rs 600 crore pertain to contractor bills.
At the same time, it is the Treasury Officers and the allied staff that have to face the wrath of the public, employees, pensioners and contractors under such circumstances.
On January 16, B.R. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Planning and Development had discussed “pressing issues” relating to Annual Plan 2014-15 and the broad approach which could be practically followed for formulating the Annual Plan 2015-16.