'Drabu a fantastic Dream Merchant'

Bivek Mathur. Updated: 1/13/2018 2:14:03 AM Front Page

Rana leads the charge as Budget discussed in LA

JAMMU: Taking jibe at Finance Minister, main opposition NC's Devender Singh Rana with his concise words, took a sharp attack on Dr Haseeb Drabu, calling him a fine dream merchant, while leading the charge of general discussion in Legislative Assembly on Budget 2018-19 presented by latter a day before.
Speaking on the Budget 2018-19, Rana said that Dr Drabu was a "fantastic dream seller."
"Mr Drabu has done nothing as Finance Minister but sold dreams only. This Budget is a fabulous fiction and Mr Drabu is the finest dream seller. He comes out with fantastic poetic ideas every year but poetry has no relevance with the budget," Rana said.
He said, "Romanticism seems to be at the peak with Dr Haseeb A Drabu while presenting his 4th annual budget."
Rana took jibe at Drabu's remark that he presented a budget of "Conscious and Heart."
Rana said, "You (Drabu) would claim that you were a hardcore Kashmiri nationalist. But now, you are subsumed in saffron culture and hence you've sold your soul. Where is the Heart and Conscious when the soul is dead?"
Speaking on the situation that has arisen in the State post GST implementation, Rana said that with all the powers related to GST with GST Council, Drabu has merely become a "Municipal Councilor."
He said that the "feel good" component in the present budget is to hide the failures, non-performance of the government.
"It is anti-poor, anti-youth, anti-economically and socially backward classes, anti-downtrodden section budget and pro-rich, pro-influential budget," Rana said.
Rana targeted Drabu for the failure of the latter in meeting the promised targets set in the last budget. He said that in the last budget, Drabu had assured to do GIS mapping of the available resources including water resources but nothing has been done in this context.
"Manpower Audit, of Corporations with SPVs, converting of GMs posts of Corporations with CEOs was the other promises where you've failed to deliver."
"You have also promised to refurbish the old existing infrastructures but in fact these infrastructures have become skeletons in the budget," he said.
Rana said that 1300 surplus was achieved because government did nothing in the last three years. He said that for the falling fiscal deficit, central government's liberal funding could be credited and not the State government.
Speaking on increase in minimum wages, Rana said that the State government has been boasting that it had increased the minimum wage from Rs 150 to 225 while the Delhi government had fixed it to Rs 350.
On government's claim of bringing down the power and departmental liabilities, Rana said that it was possible only due to the efforts of Union Power Minister, Piyush Goel with Rs 11,000 crore UDAY bond to the state.
Meanwhile, Rana congratulated government for the regularization of 61,000 employees but asked government to pay them whatever it had promised.
Speaking on power amnesty to the industrial sector, Rana said that the government has been setting a wrong precedence as he believed that the giving incentive is a bad practice.
He also sought government's cooperation in filling the vacancies of the Urdu teachers across the state. Rana concluded saying, "Please don't sell stories, prose and poetries, don't be the pied piper of Hamelin. You know what Jammu and Kashmir is. So, deal accordingly with the problems of people of Jammu and Kashmir."
Besides Rana, several other members also took part in General Discussion on Budget 2018-19 in Legislative Assembly and expressed their opinions, suggestions and concerns on the Budget proposals.
NC's senior legislator Mohammad Shafi Uri said that the PDP-BJP coalition is failure on all fronts. He added that this is a different kind of combination where one party talks about self-rule, while the other supports Operation All Out.
He also added that the Finance Minister has not mentioned about the progress and achievements of the commitments and targets set in the previous budget.
Observing that this year the government has mentioned only the horticulture industry in the budget, he urged the government to include agriculture also in their priority sector while framing various welfare schemes as majority of the people are directly or indirectly dependent on the agriculture sector in the state.
BJP MLA Rajesh Gupta praised the Government especially the Finance Minister for presenting a pro-people budget and said the it is aimed to put back the state's economy back on the track as it was derailed owing to situation in past 3 decades. Terming the budget proposals as growth oriented, Rajesh Gupta further said that every section of the society has been taken into consideration in the budget. He also hailed the government for announcing incentives to the officers and officials posted in far-flung areas of the state.
Congress MLA and leader of legislative party, Nawang Rigzin Jora while taking part in the discussion expressed concern over the negative portrayal of Kashmir in prime time debates and said that it has badly affected the tourism of the state.
He also observed that there has been decline in the overall contrition of GDP from Primary sectors including agriculture as it has witnessed downfall in past and no mention has been made about the growth of agriculture in the state. He asked the government to come up with strong initiatives dealing with the concern of growing unemployment in the state in future. He also appreciated the government for implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations for the employees.
PDP MLA Shah Mohammad Tantray said that the budget is a sincere and honest effort to bring the economy back on a right track and appreciated the Finance Minister for an innovative fiscal exercise. He congratulated the government for taking various welfare measures including medical insurance policy for the weaker sections. He said that the enhancement in wages of un-skilled labour is too meagre and pleaded for enhancement of the same up to Rs 500.
R S Pathania appreciated the government's proposals for various welfare initiatives including medi-claim policy for Journalist as mentioned in the Budget presented by FM in Legislative Assembly but requested for a similar initiative for Lawyers as well.
He thanked the government for implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations in the state but pleaded for enhancement of wages in favour of SPO's. He also demanded for establishment of rest room near the premises of the Civil Secretariat for the security personal deployed with the legislators.
He recommended for a policy mandating Doctors trained under RBA category, to have to do work in their respective areas for at least for fifteen years, so that the benefit of government spending in training these doctors is extended to common people.
Hakeem Mohammad Yasin said that the Finance Minister deserves appreciation for presenting the people-friendly Budget including implementation of 7th Pay Commission, making unmarried daughters eligible to receive pension and various other initiatives in the education sector including assistance to the students in higher education.
He also urged the government to revive the Unemployment Allowance Scheme for the youth in the state.
He urged the Finance Minister for defining guidelines for utilized of funds from various sources used in conversion like that of CDF with MGNREGA, to check misuse of these funds.
Asgar Ali Karbalai urged the government to ensure funds allocation is in correlation with respective requirements of the areas besides, improved infrastructure of schools in Kargil and for upgrading the status of these schools.
He demanded for establishment of a Medical College in Ladakh region and for creating a special financial provision so as to promote and encourage the Apricot industry in the region.
Further, he said Kargil has a huge potential for tourism especially cultural and religious tourism and urged government to take steps to boost tourism in the region, besides promoting various important landmarks as special 'areas of interest' for tourists.

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