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Budget 2020-21: J&K to get maiden Gas Pipeline Project

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Centre provisions Rs 30,757 crore budget for the UT

New Delhi/Srinagar: The Centre has provisioned Rs 30,757 crore budget for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the Union Budget for 2021-22.

“We recognise our commitment to fiscal federalism and propose therefore to adhere to this recommendation. Jammu and Kashmir in the 14th Finance Commission was entitled to get devolution being a State. Now, the funds to the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh would be provided by the Centre,” Sitharaman said.

The budget unveiled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha reveals that Rs 30757 crore have been allocated as grant for J&K Union Territory for 2021-22.

The allocation for Jammu & Kashmir is same to the amount proposed in the last Union Budget as central grant.

An official said that there is unlikely an increase in the budget of J&K UT which will be presented by the Union Finance Minister later this month or next month in Lok Sabha.

“Since there has been no enhancement in J&K’s grant, there won’t be any increase in the UT’s budget which will be unveiled in the Parliament for the second consecutive year in absence of Legislative Assembly in the former state,” he said.

In March past year, the Government of India had presented budget of Rs one lakh crore for Jammu and Kashmir for 2020-21.

The union government also announced the maiden gas pipeline project to be taken up in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The mega project will be part of the Union government’s plan to add 100 more districts of the country in next three years to the City Gas Distribution Network, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget-2021, said.

The Finance Minister said an independent Gas Transport System Operator will be set up for “facilitation and coordination of booking of common carrier capacity in all natural gas pipelines on a non-discriminatory open access basis”.

In J&K, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha thanked the union government for announcing the project for the union territory.

“I thank the Hon’ble PM @narendramodi Ji & Home Minister @AmitShah Ji for announcing a new Gas Pipeline Project for the development of J&K in #Budget2021. I congratulate FM @nsitharaman Ji for an inclusive & growth-oriented historic budget for  #AatmanirbharBharat,” reads a tweet on the LG’s Twitter handle.

The finance minister also proposed to set up a central university in Leh district of Ladakh union territory for accessible higher education in the region as part of the National Education Policy-2020.

Other J&K specific announcement in the Budget speech include Rs 279 crore grants towards contribution to Union Territory and Disaster Response Fund; for being a special category Rs 20 crore have been allocated to J&K, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Rs 100 crore have been allocated for the Industrial Development Scheme 2017, for the J&K and UT of Ladakh.

The Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry has been allocated Rs 1451 crore and Rs 225 crore for the Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu and Kashmir. A sum of Rs 20 crore has been allocated for the construction of a girl’s hostel.

Prime Minister’s Development Plan for Jammu and Kashmir, which was allocated Rs  63 crore last year has been left black without any allocations this time.

While a sum of Rs 11728.77 crore was set aside last year for grants to Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh in lieu of Finance Commission Awards and State share of Net Proceeds of Taxes, this year it is blank with zero allocation. No allocation has also been made for the development of other crafts in J&K while as Rs 50 crore have been allocated for enhancement of sports facilities.

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