JK witnessing unprecedented economic crisis, says former FM

Srinagar: A Former Finance Minister and senior National Conference leader, Abdul Rahim Rather on Friday blamed the incumbent PDP BJP government for the states worsening economic condition over the last three years.

“The state’s economy is continuously witnessing a sharp decline ever since this government took over.  Local industry has nosedived to a record low, trade is being mismanaged while agriculture has bore the brunt of this chaos,” the former FM said while speaking at a public gathering in Darwan, Nowgam, Char-i-Sharief.

“The state of J&K is on a clampdown when it comes to financial matters. The assertion of having revenue luxury by the government has proven to be misleading and fictitious. Most serious is the fact that government finances are indicative of a crumbled economy especially with respect to deferring of liabilities. Inevitable to disturb the budgetary allocation of next year, the liabilities have accumulated to such an extent that there is a certainty of their flow to the next fiscal year,” Rather said.

“This government finds itself tied down. There is an absolute breach of commitments and an upright refusal towards the payment of arrears. The State legislature and the people were made to believe that an amount of 95,000 Cr would be available to the government for expenditure during 2018-2019. If it was so, why is the government short of funds in the first month of the financial year? The government needs to work harder on its fiscal arithmetic,” he said.

Drawing comparisons with the decisions taken in the previous NC led government, Rather said, “We introduced a pay hike of 50% with an additional Rs 4200 Cr as arrears while implementing the 6th pay commission recommendations without any aggravations or stresses. However, the current administration has increased the pay hike to a mere 16% with a denial to disburse arrears.”

“Technical glitches in the implementation of GST, against the expert advice, has reduced the business sentiment and affected the common man alike. As of today, the state has been deprived of its fiscal autonomy due to the inconsiderate and reckless adoption of this tax regime,” he added.

Commenting on the current law and order situation in the state and the recent assertions by Union MoS Home Affairs on the process of dialogue, rather said, “CASO’s have become the order of the day. Nothing can be more demeaning when no less a person than the Chief Minister herself mentioned that ‘bullet for bullet’ has been adopted as a principle”.

He said that even the CM also mentioned that the state has been left alone by the country.

“This proves the desperate and distressed nature of the current dispensation. The Union MoS Home affairs recently referred to the J&K CM as not having pushed for any formal proposal of talks between India and Pakistan. This comes at a time when the Chief Minister has been constantly urging the Centre to initiate talks with the neighbouring country to mitigate the ever-increasing apprehension between the two nations and the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he lamented.


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