Jammu: Buoyed by huge increase in revenue
following return of "peace" in the state, the Jammu and
Kashmir government on Monday presented a zero-deficit budget for
2012-13, with emphasis on strengthening the backbone of its
economy-- tourism and agriculture.
It also proposed multi-sectoral concessions like VAT,
service Tax and stamp duty exemptions but hiked tax on
cigarettes and liquor for additional resource mobilisation.
Presenting a Rs 33,853 crore budget, its fourth in the
current term, the Omar Abdullah government also imposed tax on
security and placement services, pandal and shamiana services
and annual maintenance contracts.
State Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather told reporters
after presenting the budget in J&K Assembly here that it aimed
at serving the interest of the common man.
"It is populist budget aimed at most of the sectors.
Several concessions have been given in various sectors from
house wife to others as we have reaped better state revenue
due to peace in J&K", he said.
"The current financial year has been witness to the
consolidation of peace and order in our state, which
increased the state`s revenue from Rs 3,400 crore to Rs 4,600
crore. So, we want to share the dividends of peace with people
in J&K so that they get a feel of it", Rather said.
The number of tourists, who visited Kashmir Valley
and Ladakh region and pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and
Shri Amaranth yatra has surpassed all the previous records, he
Rather said these numbers signify the growing confidence
of the visitors in the persistent efforts and capability of
the government in restoring peace and order.
The state has been presenting a zero-deficit budget for
the last few years.