Chief Secretary hails Finance Department’s revenue effort
Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today hailed the improvement in current year revenue despite the ongoing pandemic and said that a strong and consistent revenue performance and a positive outlook for the future will support equally strong investment growth this fiscal year and beyond.
He made this observation while reviewing the functioning of the finance department in which the additional chief secretary of the finance department and other senior officials of the department were present.
The chief secretary said the efficiency of spending in the system has improved considerably thanks to the recent introduction of a series of financial reforms and was nowhere more evident than in the number of works completed in 18-19 compared to this year at relatively less expenditure than the corresponding previous years.
“In the past, an average of 2,000 works were carried out. As of today, 11508 jobs have already been completed and by the end of the current fiscal year, approximately 25000 jobs are expected to be completed. This represents a 12-fold increase from the average of previous years,” he said.
Dr. Mehta said capital expenditure performance needs to be further improved to maximize gains from tax reforms to create a virtuous cycle of J&K’s growth that feeds on itself and continues to grow.
Stating that the PRI are the main priority of the government, the Secretary General said that development expenditure in rural areas must be increased with the close support of local self-government representatives for better infrastructure development.
Earlier, the Finance Department’s Additional Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, said in his presentation that SGST’s recoveries in December 2021 were 46% higher than the corresponding period last year, while the settlement of the IGST recorded a growth of 35% compared to the previous year in the same period.
He further stated that the stamp collection is 87% higher than the previous year over the same period, even though the MST collections recorded a growth of 46.41 cr.
He was further informed that excise collections during the year are expected to exceed last year’s target of Rs 300 cr.
Giving details of the works being executed, the Finance Secretary informed that out of 44,245 projects/works undertaken in 2021-22 under district capital expenditure, 42,102 works received administrative approval, of which 40,248 work was the subject of a call for tenders. 28523 jobs out of the tendered jobs have been awarded/currently in progress. The department informed that out of 28523 works in progress; approximately 25,000 jobs are expected to be completed this fiscal year.
The department further informed that out of 2357 works sanctioned under languishing projects, 1192 works have been completed so far at a cost of Rs. 1983.77 cr.
The Finance Secretary said that the spending performance of various departments is monitored and whenever necessary, instructions are issued to increase spending so that the annual investment targets are met by the department.
Stressing the importance of monitoring the regular inflows of CSS from the central government, the chief secretary said the department must work closely with departments to seek more CSS funds from the union government.
Dr Mehta emphasized on ensuring real-time auditing of departments through electronic auditing and said that instead of auditing the books of accounts on an ex post basis, the department should do this on an ex ante basis so that deviations from standards are checked before they occur. .
He tasked the department to ensure that the 24 departments of the excise department are integrated into the one-stop shop as part of the action plan to reform the business of the I&C department.
The Chief Secretary further directed the department to place all 16 services under E-Grass as a top priority.