Govt Undecided On Recommendations Of State Finance Commission

Govt Undecided On Recommendations Of State Finance Commission

11 January 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Jammu: Though the voices of discrimination have become louder ever since the initiation of exercise for creation of new administrative units, no serious thought has so far been given to the recommendations of the State Finance Commission, which was otherwise constituted with the sole objective of providing equitable treatment to all the regions and sub-regions of the State in the allocation of funds, and State Government continued to remain undecided on considering the report of this vital Commission. The State Finance Commission came into being in 2007 to look into regional imbalance or discrimination in the allotment of funds with any region or sub-region of the State and suggest corrective measures for equitable development. The Commission, which had to accomplish the task to address the voices of discrimination within a period of one year, took more than three years to finalize its recommendations and the report was submitted to the Government in November 2010. The vigor shown in the framing of Finance Commission faded on the submission of the report as from November 2010 till April 2012 none from those running the affairs of the Government bothered to utter single word about initiating further exercise. However, following massive criticism from the public and opposition parties, the Government in April 2012 engaged two experts to work out the road-map for the implementation of the recommendations. Thereafter, on May 25, 2012, the General Administration Department issued an Order No. 578 regarding constitution of Group of Ministers for considering the report of the concerned Administrative Departments, on the recommendations of the J&K State Finance Commission, pertaining to various departments. The Group of Ministers headed by Minister for Finance had to make recommendations to the Cabinet or set up an expert group for in-depth examination of the proposals emanating from various Administrative Departments. According to the official sources, neither majority of the Administrative Departments bothered to submit reports on the recommendations of the Finance Commission nor the Group of Ministers ever tried to pass on necessary directions to the Administrative Departments. “What to talk of Administrative Departments even the Ministers concerned and the members of the Group of Ministers never found it appropriate to ensure submission of report by the officers of the departments under their charge”, sources further said while disclosing that ever since its formation the Group of Ministers has not convened even one meeting till date despite the fact that voices of discrimination have become louder. Sources asked, “what was the fun of constituting the Finance Commission and spending huge money on it for three years when there was no seriousness behind addressing the discrimination”, adding “the fate of the recommendations of Finance Commission has substantiated the general observations that the commissions and committees are constituted to bury the important issues and divert the attention of the people”. It is pertinent to mention here that State Finance Commission has made admission, in its report, about the inter-district variation in the level of development and mentioned that developmental graph in some districts is very poor. “Given the non-serious approach of the Government, it seems that the exercise carried out by the Commission was a futility that too at the cost of tax payers’ money”, sources said while disclosing that none of the Coalition partners has so far raised the issue of considering the recommendations of the State Finance Commission. When contacted, a member of the Group of Ministers, on the condition of anonymity said, “it is a fact that the recommendations of the Finance Commission are gathering dust in the official files and there are hardly any chances of the same receiving the serious thought in near future”.