Jammu & Kashmir Govt Presents Zero-Deficit Budget for
Buoyed by huge increase in revenue following return of
"peace" in the state, the Jammu and Kashmir government
today 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
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
"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 said.
Rather said these numbers signify the growing confidence of the visitors in the
persistent efforts and capability of the government in restoring peace and
The state has been presenting a zero-deficit budget for the last few years.
To give a further fillip to the tourist dependent state economy, the Jammu and
Kashmir government has provided several incentives in the budget for next
fiscal, Rather said.
He added these initiatives included the areas and locations qualifying for
incentives under Tourism Package.
It provided, among other things, for an outright 30 per cent capital investment
subsidy on fixed assets created by new investments subject to a maximum limit of
Rs 30 lakh.
In case of prestigious units investing Rs 25 crore or more, this subsidy limit
is proposed to be raised to Rs 1 crore, Rather said.
Displaying a "populist face", J&K Government also doled out tax concessions to
various sectors including extension of VAT exemption for food items for one more
Tax concessions to industrial units was also extended further for one year.
Similarly, concessions and exemptions enjoyed by tourism sector will continue
for the next financial year as well, the minister said.
Other concessions included exemption of entry tax for Independent Power
Producers (IPPs) on import of all power generation and transmission equipment,
building material and construction equipment for the hydel projects.
The Jammu and Kashmir government also proposed exemption of value added tax
(VAT) on desktops, laptops, palmtops, computer peripherals like pen-drives, CDs,
memory cards, chips headphones, electronic diaries, computer cleaning kits and
other IT peripherals.
Stationery items like adhesive solutions, gum pastes, pencils, crayons,
highlighters, erasers sharpeners, pencil boxes are exempt from levy of VAT, he
However to mobilise additional resources, J&K government proposed VAT on sales
of cigarettes and other related products at 30 percent from 25 per cent.
"Security and placement Services, pandal and Shamiana services, annual
maintenance contracts are also being brought under service tax net, he said.