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Unlike other UTs, J&K, Ladakh to get grant from 15th Finance Commission

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Srinagar: In a significant development, the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are all set to get a share from the 15th Finance Commission for which only states are entitled.

The 15th Finance Commission has recommended Rs 90,000 crore as grants for 2020-21 to 28 states and two Union Territories – J&K, and Ladakh.

Centre has also accepted recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission and the final report would now be submitted to the President.

The 14th Finance Commission had given Jammu and Kashmir Rs 60,000 crore award for the five years, which was applicable from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020. The 15th Finance Commission award will be applicable from April 1, 2020 for a period of five financial years i.e. up to March 31, 2025.

The 15th Finance Commission has recommended 41 percent of the estimated divisible pool to 28 states and also included J&K, and Ladakh under a special provision to plug gap of development in the new Union Territories. The 41 percent will be from the overall central tax.

The Union Territories are not entitled to get funds from Finance Commission instead funds are given only from the Centre’s special share.

However, it has also recommended one percent share for the newly created Union Territories-J&K, and Ladakh. Earlier, the erstwhile state would get a share of 0.85 percent from the Commission.

An official of Finance Department told KNS that a special provision has been made to include J&K, and Ladakh to get funds from the Finance Commission.

“J&K will get funds from 15th Finance Commission as well as special grants from the Centre for which only Union Territories are entitled for,” the official said.

The official said that focus of the J&K government was on completion of languishing projects, sanitation, health and education.

“Funds to be received from 15th Finance Commission will be spent on various sectors for overall development of the new UT,” the official said.

Jammu and Kashmir’s Finance Department has proposed over Rs one lakh crore budget to the new Union Territory for 2020-21. Last year, State Administration Council headed by the then Governor Satya Pal Malik had approved Rs 88,911 crore for Jammu and Kashmir. (With KNS inputs)

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