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Lok Sabha passes budget for Union Territory of J&K amid ruckus over JPC demand

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New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Rs 1.185 lakh crore budget for the financial year 2023-24 for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, amid ruckus by the Opposition over a demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani issue.

As soon as the House met again at 2 pm after an adjournment, Rajindra Agrawal, who was chairing the proceedings, asked BJP’s Jugal Kishore Sharma to initiate the discussion on the budget for the Union Territory, which is under central rule at present.

Sharma spoke for a minute after which the process to pass the budget was initiated. The budget for Jammu and Kashmir was passed by a voice vote amid din.

Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Pankaj Chaudhary, moved the proposals related to the Union Territory’s budget on behalf of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The bill, which was introduced on Monday, among other things, provided a thrust on housing in rural areas and water tap connections to 18.36 lakh households in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The total budget estimates for the fiscal is Rs 1,18,500 crore, of which developmental expenditure is of the order of Rs 41,491 crore,” Sitharaman had said in the Budget speech tabled in Lok Sabha.

According to the minister, the revenue receipts have been pegged at Rs 1,06,061 crore whereas revenue expenditure was expected to be Rs 77,009 crore, thereby making available revenue surplus for capital expenditure to the tune of Rs 29,052 crore.

“The tax/GDP ratio is projected at 8.82 percent for 2023-24 which is higher than the previous year of 7.77 percent,” Sitharaman had said.

She had informed the House that the debt/GDP ratio for 2023-24 was pegged as 49 percent and the GDP growth for the Union Territory for the fiscal has been projected at Rs 2,30,727 crore which shows a growth of 10 percent over the previous year.

The budget has allocated Rs 2,526.74 crore to agriculture and horticulture; Rs 2,097.53 crore to health and medical education; Rs 4,169.26 crore to rural department; Rs 1,964.90 crore to power sector; Rs 7,161 crore to Jal Shakti; Rs 2,928.04 crore to housing and urban development; Rs 1,521.87 crore to education; and Rs 4,062.87 crore to construction of roads and bridges.

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