Food Security Act has resulted in down sizing of State’s annual plan approved by the Planning Commission (PC)recently. The PC had approved annual plan size was Rs 7300, while the State had projected the demand of Rs 8000 crores.
“The Planning Commission said its hands are tied down because Act has huge financial bearing on the Centre. It asked the State to shore up its own resources especially in the power sector,” said a senior official, wishing not to be named.
The Centre had recently passed an Ordinance to pass the Bill. According to government’s own admission the annual subsidy on the Act the will cost Rs 1.24 lakh crores, though some unofficial quarters had pegged the annual subsidy at Rs 3 lakh crores.
The PC had fixed the revenue target of power sector at Rs 2800 crore. The chief minister Omar Abdullah had himself said that this has put the State in precarious position. The State government had put the revenue for the current financial year at Rs 1700 crores.
“It asked the State government to up the revenue collection by Rs 300 crores and cut the expenditure by 25 percent,” said the sources.
The expenditure of State government on power sector is Rs 4000 crore, which includes budgetary provision of Rs 3200 crores for purchases and rest is the establishment cost as such it has negative contribution.
The Centre had held long and detailed deliberations on the Act and all the State governments, including J&K, had in principle agreed to it. As per the Act every person belonging to priority households, to be identified by the state government shall be entitled to receive 5 kg of food grains per person per month at subsidised prices.
Eligible households shall be entitled to food grains at the subsidised price not exceeding Rs 3 per kg for rice, Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 1 per kg for coarse grains for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act.
Omar Abdullah had chairing the meeting of District Development Board Jammu meeting on Monday had said that J&K is totally dependent on the Centre for funding of annual Plans, as such, the financial health at the Centre reflects on the flow of the funds to the State.
CM had earmarked power as the key sector and had repeatedly said that it holds the key for financial health of the State.