JKNPP describe state budget as anti-people, anti-Jammu

Describing the state budget tabled for the year 2016-17 by the Finance Minister as a damp squib, a strong contingent of Panthers Party activists led by Harsh Dev Singh Chairman
JKNPP, Balwant Singh Mankotia State President and Yashpal Kundal State President Young Panthers held a massive demonstration against the Budget proposals at Exhibition Ground Jammu on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, Harsh Dev Singh said that the current R 64,669 crores budget announced by the Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu had stored nothing for a common man which only appeared to be a jugglery of words and figures amid high expectations from all the quarters. Recalling the contours of the budget, he said that the budgetary announcement to hike the tax rate from 13.5 percent to 14.5 percent on the essential commodities under VAT regime had only made a common man a worst sufferer with the soaring price rise of goods like Milk products, Readymade garments, Hosiery goods, Frozen and packed foods, Juices, Imitation jewelry, Functional devices, mobile phones, I-pads and their accessories, Transformers, Air fresheners, etc. He pointed out that the interests of the farmers and the youth were out rightly ignored from the scope of the budget. He maintained that the State budget had failed to keep provision for the adequate compensation to the farmer community of Jammu whose crops, live stock and land were washed away during the catastrophic floods of September 2014. Singh flayed the budget for not incorporating substantial employment package for the youth who had been languishing and protesting in the open for their genuine demands.
Terming the budget as the statement of fudged figures, Harsh Dev Singh lambasted the budgetary provision to hike the toll tax between 8 to 15 percent. He said that the general public at large was already burdened by the toll tax and the further increase would only aggravate the situation. He sought immediate revocation of the aforesaid tax in the interest of sustainable tourism in the region so that the general commuters, tourists and pilgrims visiting the State were kept out from the scope of the tax. He said that such taxes should be exempted in the militancy infested State for fostering the growth in tourism and allied sectors. He disclosed that the aviation turbine fuel levy which had been hiked from 20 to 25 percent would only make the air travel costlier and add to the burden on the frequent flyers within the State. Lampooning the budget, Singh further divulged that an Entertainment duty of Rs 50/- per connection per month had been levied on satellite and cable TV which had made the recreation costlier as well. He said that in a nutshell the induced inflation would only break the back of the common masses who had voted BJP and PDP to power to liberate them from the socio-economic miseries.
He sought immediate withdrawal of such duties from the purview of the State budget. He further lambasted the total disregard of the genuine concerns of Daily rated workers of PHE, R&B, PDD etc who were on roads for the last several months seeking enhancement of wages and regularization. He further flayed the govt. for its despicable apathy towards the concerns of academic arrangement and contractual lecturers of schools and colleges whose negligible emoluments of Rs 7,000/- per month have not been enhanced despite their counterparts in the regular establishment drawing approx Rs 45,000/- per month. He further deplored that no policy for their regularization had been announced by the govt. despite its assurances. He castigated BJP for its failure to revoke services tax on Helicopter Services to Mata Vaishno Devi.
Harsh Dev Singh expressed his strong indignation over the reprobate disregard by the State government to the new Industrial policy already approved by the SAC appointed by the Hon’ble Governor earlier. He said that the statement of the Finance Minister citing that the J&K State was a little more complicated than other states and changes were required in the policy had only backed up Kashmir centric agenda endorsing the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ while disparaging the BJP which had been playing a second fiddle role in the alliance . He said that the approved Industrial policy would have provided nearly 15,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities to the youth besides attracting the investment over Rs. 2000 cr per annum from the entrepreneurs from all across the country.
Yashpal Kundal disclosed that the State budget had grossly failed to keep the provision for the Sainik Colony and Composite townships for Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir valley. He castigated the BJP for remaining silent on the sensitive issues for remaining glued to the power and maintained that all the tall promises of the Saffron party had deflated and fallen flat on Kashmir turf. He admonished the BJP for being hands in gloves with its ally in pushing the separatist agenda to its logical conclusion which shall not be forgiven by the electorate of Jammu Pradesh in the days to come.

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