Sagar tears in to govt claims over ‘chillar budget’

Sagar tears in to govt claims over ‘chillar budget’
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JAMMU: Five-time National Conference (NC) legislator from Khanyar, Ali Mohammad Sagar, on Monday lambasted the PDP-BJP government over its failure to implement the claims on developmental front in last three years. Speaking during discussion on 2018-19 Budget, Sagar termed the Rs 80,000 crore budget presented by Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu as “chillar budget”. He also criticised Drabu for “intense publicity of his self and the budget”. “It is being presented as Drabu budget and not the budget of PDP-BJP coalition government,” he remarked. Slamming the government for “choking” the opposition, Sagar said, “Discussions are being held in TV, newspapers and magazines by government’s own people.” He said that the budget was anti-youth as only Rs 20 crore were granted for their welfare. “We have 5.5 lakh highly qualified unemployed youth, who pick up guns… this government should take measures for their safety,” he said. “It is a chillar budget ranging from Rs 1 crore to 2.5 crore for various sectors,” he said. “Don’t try to score points; we too announced pay commission but did not publicise it like you are doing when 7th pay commission is yet to be implemented.” “You claimed to bring white paper on state’s financial health… three years have passed since, where is it?” Sagar questioned Drabu. “You compromised the state’s financial autonomy by bringing central GST in to the state despite the fact you yourself opposed it and there is proof of your write-ups in newspapers and magazines.” “It is saddening,” Sagar said about the budget. “We expected more from him as a renowned economist but that did not happen.” “He had claimed to get Rs 1 lakh crore as flood relief after he ridiculed Omar Abdullah for only securing Rs 43,000 crore,” Sagar recalled. “But what happened then?” he asked Drabu. Drabu, Sagar told the assembly, said that his thrust was “to create peace constituency so that economy will grow and monopoly will end followed by competition in the market.” “GST is detrimental to the interests of the state which has taken all its fiscal autonomy,” he said. “We thought you will be strong defender of state’s autonomy… that at least you would save financial autonomy but you decided against it and created an atmosphere… you made a road and got central GST extended to J&K state and our fiscal autonomy completely vanished,” he explained. “You are associated with financial matters deeply and closely,” Sagar told Drabu, “We expected that Drabu won’t be doing sauda baazi (sell out), but app nay maali mafadaat ka sauda kiya (you sold out the economic interests), we did not expect it from PDP but we had expectation from you.” Terming the budget “theoretical”, Sagar said, “It was antiyouth as only Rs 20 crore were kept for their welfare.” He said that Drabu was giving much hype to Rs 80k crore budget but last year, Rs 30k crore was the capital expenditure which has been reduced to Rs 26 crore only. “Further you are subsuming Rs 11k crore of PMDP in your state budget.. you did not say how Rs 11k crore from PMDP were brought in to your capital expenditure,” Sagar observed. “Where is your white paper you promised to bring in your first year, three years have passed since then.” Slamming the government for taking undue credit for 7th Pay Commission, Sagar said, “It has to happen and it is a commitment with employees… what is there to give it so much hype and it is only 20% hike.” “Omar Abdullah led government gave 45% hike in salaries of employees in Sixth Pay Commission,” he said. “For regularisation of now over one lakh employees, you have put so many ‘ifs and buts, presumptions and assumptions’ that I don’t think they would be able to register themselves,” he said of the casual and daily wager employees whose number rose to 1 lakh and 9,000. “When you joined the government, you said there were such 60,000 employees but from where did another 40,000 employees come from?” Sagar asked Drabu. “Where is the power budget: where is that? No one talked about it,” he said mocking Drabu that he claimed he would “correct the system”. “Now, you have announced Panchayat budget; you have taken initiative and given incentives but you have always destroyed this institution… BJP MLAs raise the issue of 73rd amendment… we wanted to make it more democratic through our own constitution,” he said. “Now, we believe you will bring R&B budget.” “We talked of white revolution but we are buying milk from Punjab and other states, where does our own milk go?” he asked Drabu who comes from Pulwama district from where the largest quantity of milk comes in the Valley. Sagar also referred to the issue of social status in Downtown Srinagar where there is saturation because of less space and high density of population. “Late Mufti sahab had announced that he will work for housing colony of these people… what happened to that? Don’t claim if you can’t work,” he told Drabu. “You should have announced jobs for the kin of slain militants.” “Don’t score points; ye toofan ka budget nahi hai (the budget is no impressive),” Sagar added. “You mocked your predecessors for begging bowl. But what is wrong if we went to Delhi for money… we did it for our own people. What is bad in it? It is budget of Drabu and not of the coalition government and we know you have political compulsions… you have to follow a political ideology.” In his speech, MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami mocked the budgetry speech saying, “I am not a poet but after listening to Budget speech, I got interested in it.” “You have given up on GST. What did we get after discussing the GST in assembly,” he asked the finance minister who kept listening to speech after speech in response to his fourth budget. “GST impacted the specialty and entire structure of J&K’s economy,” Tarigami remarked. “Now, our rights will be decided by GST Council which is an unaccountable body,” he said. “Delhi is leading centralisation in politics and economy while neither parliament nor legislatures can decide on taxes.” Tarigami said that J&K economy was “not progressing but it is briskly deteriorating; surely it is not moving forward”. He referred to the speech of governor N N Vohra in which he talked about the state of governance in Jammu and Kashmir. “Share of agriculture has reduced in GDP, it is weak… it is virtually becoming non-profitable; children of farmers are depressed because they are in loss.” “Drabu himself is an orchardist but the situation of horticulture is saddening; it is not only plantation… take over-all view of this sector,” he told the government. “Its marketing intervention schemes are not effective.” Tarigami revealed that a corporate backed NGO was brought in state for Mid-day meals. “They are seeking money for malnutrition from foreign countries in our name which is unacceptable,” he told the finance minister. “There are massive complaints against this corporate supported NGO in Haryana, other states and it needs to be looked into.”

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