Cong, CPI-M Terms J&K Budget ‘Disappointing’

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Jammu: Jammu and Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) and CPIM on Thursday termed the budget present by the central government in Parliament as “disappointing” and said that budget allocations are short of the people’s expectations.

The Centre on Tuesday presented a Rs.1.08 lakh crore Budget for Jammu and Kashmir for 2021-22, and said the “highest ever” allocations reflect its commitment to make the Union Territory “a model of development”.

The government also presented a separate expenditure plan of Rs 55,317.81 crore for the last five months of the 2019-20 fiscal.

“J&K budget presented by the Centre is disappointing. The budget allocations are short of the people’s expectations and needs on various fronts in view of numerous challenges and dreams post downgrading of state into a UT”, senior Congress leader and former minister Mula Ram said here.

Former minister and Vice President of J&K Raman Bhalla expressed dismay over the lack of any major initiatives to boost the economically distressed region, due to the division and downgrading of the historic state and resultant atmosphere of uncertainty disturbing the trade, transport, business, tourism activities.

He said that due to lack of employment during past few years, there is large scale unemployment in the government and private sectors. The youth are getting frustrated with meager job opportunities while the self employed and the causal, need based and daily wagers are on roads for justice, he added.

Several decisions of the UT administration has rendered the self employed also a jobless and the business atmosphere is vitiated, Bhalla said. All sorts of business trade and tourism activity is at lowest levels while the inflation is at its peak, he said.

He said that in view of this several initiatives were required to boost the sagging economy and the GOI should have liberally helped the de-stabilized region, which are short of expectations of different sections.

While terming the J&K budget presented in Parliament as a routine exercise, CPIM on Thursday said it was “disappointing” for the people of the region as there was no concrete plan in it to revive the shattered economy of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Unfortunately, it is the most disappointing budget for the people of J&K. All businesses in J&K have been shattered post the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 and there is no mention of reviving them and to assist those who suffered huge losses”, senior CPIM leader M Y Tarigami said.

He further said that after the August 2019 clampdown, economy of J&K has virtually collapsed as tourism, trade and other vital sectors were badly hit.

“Whole businesses have been shattered in Kashmir since 2019. Those who were already earning their livelihood were deprived of the same”, he added.

The CPIM leader said that the core sectors of the economy agriculture and horticulture have totally been neglected by the government, despite J&K being an agricultural state and major chunk of population dependent on this sector.

“Issue of fair price for farmers produce by ensuring a minimum support price for all crops has been their long pending demand. But there is no mention of it in the Budget”, he said.

He said that thousands of artisans in the Valley are without work since August 2019. “After agriculture, handicrafts form an important sector of the economy of Kashmir. According to figures by Kashmir’s handicrafts department, some four lakh artisans are associated with the sector, of which around two lakh are registered with the department. But the Budget has failed them also”, he added.

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