Chanderkote: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said the state`s current fiscal situation is grim since its total annual income of Rs 6,500 crore was not sufficient to meet expenditure making it totally dependent on central assistance.
Omar also said he wants to achieve financial autonomy for the state and relieve it of being constantly dependent on assistance from the Centre for development purposes.
"The present financial status of the state is grim. We have a total annual income of only Rs 6,500 crore from all sources," Omar said while addressing a public gathering after laying the foundation stone of Rs 3,113 crore Baglihar-II project at Chanderkote in Ramban district.
"While we have to pay Rs 13,500 crore as salaries and Rs 2,000 crore to pensioners, our electricity loss amounts to another Rs 2,000 crore annually," he said.
"In this situation, we have to remain totally dependent on central assistance," he said, thanking the UPA government at the Centre for extending help to the state.
If there is a government at the Centre which is unfriendly towards Jammu and Kashmir, the state would be in deep trouble, he said.
"In order to safeguard the economy and financial position of state, we have to focus on harnessing hydroelectric potential of our rivers," he said.
The Chief Minister related the state`s financial autonomy with indigenous generation of surplus power and its export to neighbouring states.
"We have 20,000 MW capacity of generating hydroelectric power in the state and the coalition government has already prepared a roadmap of producing 9,000 MW within the next few years," he said, adding that the initiative will not only help meet energy requirements of the state, but also export a good chunk of it to neighbouring states and utilise additional funds for the state`s development.