Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday declared that the state`s "financial self-reliance" was the main aim of his government.
Abdullah, who is also working president of the ruling National Conference, the party demanding restoration of greater autonomy to the state, said that his government had started making moves in this direction and referred to realization of Rs.550 crore as water usage charges from the National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC).
He was addressing a public meeting in Kalkote area of Rajouri district, about 150 km north of Jammu, where he raised the issue of "financial self reliance". His government has levied the water usage charges on the NHPC, which is operating major power projects, like Salal, Dul Hasti, Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.
"My government aims at making the state financially self reliant. So many initiatives have been taken in this regard," he said referring to the water usage tax imposed on power companies by his government.
Earlier, the NHPC was giving only 12 percent of power generated from each of the power projects as royalty to the state.
The state government is mostly dependent upon the Centre for funding as its total revenue through tax collection is Rs.4,800 crore only.
Abdullah thanked the union government for extending "liberal financial support to the state government in its endeavour to ensure equitable development in all sectors and in all regions of the state".