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8% of GDP is spent on govt salaries

India spends a whopping Rs 10.18 trillion on the emoluments of government employees, both at the centre and in states, a staggering 8.15% of the country’s GDP.Taken against the backdrop of spending on education, health and defence, the figures show a large chunk of government budget goes into the salaries, pensions and allowances of government employees, leaving a trickle for social sector and development activities.A note submitted by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to a parliamentary panel highlighted the fact that out of the total GDP of India amounting to 124.88 trillion, Rs 10.18 trillion is spent on paying salaries, etc.The Committee on Estimates chaired by veteran BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, while reviewing the performance of all India services, found that a huge expenditure was met on wages, besides the expenditure on building infrastructure like offices and houses for bureaucracy, rather on delivery.The panel had actually asked the government to furnish details of total expenditure incurred on Indian Administrative Service (IAS) , Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers posted at the Centre and in states and its share in the GDP. But the government while circumventing the request submitted an overall data related to all government employees without specifying services.The government in its presentation stated that there was no study at hand to suggest expenditures incurred on officers belonging to superior services. Taking exception to the fact that there was mechanism to find out the expenditure and its share in the GDP, the panel agreed that bureaucracy was fully committed to citizens and reflects hopes and aspirations, but said it should be held accountable for accomplishments, when it is being paid from the exchequer.According to figures, the salaries of 10 million central government employees account for 12.6% of the central government’s total expenditure. The government recently accepted the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, doubling the minimum starting salary from the current Rs 7,000 per month to Rs 18,000 per month. The Commission’s recommendations added an extra 0.7% burden on the GDP and a yearly burden of 102,000 crore.The government also admitted that payment of salaries, wages and other allowances to government employees is the main element of Gross value added (GVA) — the total output and measure of the value of goods and services.

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Rs 200 crore loss as saffron production dips sharply

Persistent dry spell in Kashmir valley has led a 80 per cent drop in the production of saffron causing Rs 200 crore financial loss to the farmers.Official figures reveal that saffron production in 2017 was 3.5 metric tonnes against 17 metric tonnes in 2016. Estimates worked out by the Agriculture department peg the financial loss at over Rs 200 crore.”On an average, our saffron production is 17 metric tonnes. This year there is a 80 per cent drop in production. One kilogramme saffron sells at Rs 1.6 lakh, and by that estimate we have suffered roughly Rs 200 crore loss,” said Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, director of department of agriculture, Kashmir.Experts say increased temperature and no rainfall during sprouting period are the main reasons for crop failure this year.”It requires rainfall in September. In addition, temperatures should also be moderate. Moisture in corn helps sprouting. We had no rainfall, which resulted in crest formation,” Andrabi said.Touted as world’s most expensive spice, saffron is used in multiple ways in multiple industries — ranging from medicine, beauty, colour, food, among others. Kashmiri saffron kahwa (tea) is a delicacy which is served on special occasions signifying the importance of the guests. It is used in beauty products and has a high medicinal value.Around 3,715 hectares of land is used for saffron cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir. Pampore in the Pulwama district of south Kashmir tops the list with 3,200 hectares under saffron cultivation. It is followed by Budgam and Srinagar with 328 and 165 hectares respectively under the saffron cultivation.”Production is almost nil and farmers are ruined. We have suffered huge financial losses this year. Government should come up with a scheme to help the farmers in distress. We have no other source of income,” said GM Pampori, president J&K Saffron Growers and Dealers Association.”Our worry is now about the mother corn. You need good water regime for multiplication of corn for next year’s crops. If the dry spell continues for another month, it will have catastrophic effect on future crops,” said Andrabi.SUDDEN DIPOfficial data reveals that saffron production in 2017 was 3.5 metric tonnes against 17 metric tonnes in 2016. Experts blame increased temperature and lack of rain in the Valley are the primary reasons behind failure of the crop this year.

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CBI files charge sheet against Yadav Singh in graft case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has filed a charge sheet in a Ghaziabad court against former Noida chief engineer Yadav Singh and four others in a corruption case related to the laying of underground cables. Singh, JSP Constructions and four others have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption, the agency said here. The work for laying underground cables from Sector 14 A to Mahamaya flyover at a cost of Rs 20.78 crore and Film City flyover to Cambridge School in Noida at a cost of 17.32 crore was awarded to JSP Constructions in 2011. The CBI during its probe found that it was decided in advance as to who will get the contracts. Estimates were inflated, the bill of quantities was changed and there was a cartel formation among contractors to make JSP Constructions the lowest bidder, the charge sheet stated. The tender was opened in August-September 2011 but the work had started in April, it alleged. The CBI had in March last year filed a charge sheet against Singh and had kept the probe open. After concluding he investigation, it filed a separate charge sheet today. Also, it has filed a supplementary charge sheet against the wife of an employee of the North Okhla Industrial Development Authority over alleged corruption. The case was handed over to the CBI on the directives of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The investigation agency had last year said: “An FIR alleged that the then chief engineer, Noida and Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities had entered into a criminal conspiracy with unidentified persons, firms and awarded various contracts without following the laid down procedures, causing undue pecuniary gain to the tune of crores of rupees to private firms and himself.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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