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FM proposes Rs 1.18 lakh cr interim Budget for J&K

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The interim Budget envisages a fiscal deficit of Rs 20,760 crore and a 7.5 percent growth in gross state domestic product (GSDP)

Srinagar/New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday proposed an interim Budget of Rs 1.18 lakh crore for fiscal 2024-25 for the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

The interim Budget envisages a fiscal deficit of Rs 20,760 crore and a 7.5 percent growth in gross state domestic product (GSDP).

The capital expenditure for the fiscal has been proposed at Rs 38,566 crore, which is 14.64 percent of the GSDP, as per the interim Budget tabled by Sitharaman in Parliament.

The revenue receipts for the next fiscal stood at Rs 97,861 crore.

According to Sitharaman, the crucial reforms undertaken in 2019 enabled “path-breaking” measures by the Union Territory government to decentralise governance structure, promote inclusive development, upscale revenue generation and step up infrastructure development.

“The government is maintaining law and order to ensure security while simultaneously implementing initiatives for economic and social development. The government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism,” Sitharaman said.

“Security forces are taking effective and continuous action in countering terrorism. Due to the effective measures and efforts taken, the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir has significantly improved,” Sitharaman added.

Pertinently, two Appropriation Bills on the Supplementary Budget for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25 will be considered by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

As per an official handout, the Finance department of the UT had drafted the Supplementary Budget for the current year and the Interim Budget for the next financial year. For this, the department had assessed the revenue receipts of the UT government from GST, motor spirit tax, excise, and stamp duty.

Further, the non-tax revenue from electricity and water supply, mining royalty, timber sales, annual rent from industrial lands, etc. were also examined. The own revenue of the UT government has been estimated at Rs. 20,867 crore. The UT government also pursued the Government of India for getting central financial assistance.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha and Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo led the UT’s efforts in this direction, the handout said, adding that “crucial meetings” were held in August 2023, October 2023 and January 2024 in Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Finance to review these demands of the UT Government. Union Home Minister and Union Finance Minister personally reviewed the fiscal management of the UT Government in recent months, said the handout.

Accordingly, the Central government has agreed to provide Rs. 41751.44 Cr to the UT government in this financial year and Rs. 37277.74 Cr in the next financial year. These assistance figures have been duly captured in the Revised Estimates of 2023-24 and the Budget Estimates of 2024-25 of the Union government. This assistance will be provided under the MHA’s demand no 58 for assistance to the UT.

This assistance includes the normal assistance (resource gap) to the UT government, equity contribution for hydropower projects at Kiru, Kwar and Rattle, etc. These assistance figures are captured in the Union Budget which is already before the Parliament and the same will be taken up for discussion before the UT’s interim budget.

Building on this, Government of Jammu and Kashmir drafted its Supplementary Budget for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25. Finance department also drafted the two Appropriation Bills (Supplementary Demands and Vote on Account) for placing before the Parliament.

The revised estimates for 2023-24 is overall lower than the budgeted estimates 2023-24 as the UT government was successful in streamlining its expenditure. The supplementary demands for 2023-24 of Rs. 8,712.90 Cr pertain to the four Departments of Finance, Power Development, Hospitality and Protocol and Cooperatives.

The supplementary budget is required by the Finance department in view of the repayment of debt, while the Power Development department needs to provide for power procurement. The Hospitality and Protocol department intends to develop the new J&K Bhawan at Dwarka, New Delhi for which land will be allotted from DDA. The Cooperative department requires the funding additionally for its new CSS, Assistance to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).These additional demands are proposed to be catered with Supplementary Demands for the current year 2023-24.

The interim budget for 2024-25 makes provisions for the ongoing initiatives for infrastructure development, sustainable agriculture, new industrial estate, PRI level works, employment generation, developing tourism, and social inclusion.

During preparation of the interim budget proposals, consultations were held with all the Departments and various stakeholders to provide for ongoing initiatives and arrive at realistic budgetary numbers. For finalizing expenditure proposals, assessment of financing needs of infrastructure projects, social and economic measures undertaken by Departments was undertaken.

The budgetary exercise focused on the imperative of advancing the cause of the greater collective good within the realistically realizable resources. While the budgetary estimate for the next financial year 2024-25 is about Rs. 1,18,728 Cr, the UT Government has proposed the Vote on Account for Rs. 59,364 Cr.

This interim budget for 2024-25 covers revenue expenditure of Rs. 40,081 Cr and capital expenditure of Rs. 19,283 Cr.

The interim budget of Jammu and Kashmir for 2024-25 provides for the ongoing measures and schemes as follows:

1) Rs. 2959 Cr provisioned for tap-water connectivity for rural areas under Jal Jeevan Mission with Rs 532 crore as UT Share.

2) Rs. 934 Cr for transforming agriculture and allied sectors of the UT through the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme (HADP), including provisions for IFAD funded J&K Comprehensive Investment Plan (JKCIP).

3) Rs. 1907 Cr for rejuvenating school education infrastructure and services through funding under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.

4) Provision of improving road connectivity with Rs. 1683 Cr for PMGSY roads Rs. 300 Cr for CRF roads, and Rs. 1000 Cr NABARD scheme.

5) Rs. 1313 Cr for strengthening decentralized governance by providing for local area works of panchayat and urban local bodies.

6) Rs. 1271 Cr for strengthening infrastructure and services in the health sector under National Health Mission mechanism.

7) Rs. 1093 Cr for rural housing under PMAwasYojana-Gramin scheme.

8) Rs. 1000 Cr for comprehensive social security coverage for Old aged, Widow and Disabled pensions by saturation approach.

9) Rs. 660 Cr for J&K’s equity in the hydro electric projects at Ratle, Kwar, and Kiru, which would provide a stable revenue source and cheaper power.

10) Rs. 505Cr for timely procurement of machinery, equipment, prosthetic aids and drugs in the Health sector through the dedicated corporation.

11) Rs. 500 Cr for capitalization of the banks, including Cooperative Banks, Rural Banks, J&K Bank, etc.

12) Rs. 450 Cr for infrastructure of new Colleges and Universities as per NEP vision.

13) Rs. 430 Cr for women empowerment intervention ofLadliBeti and Marriage Assistance

14) Rs. 400 Cr for construction of Transit accommodations for Kashmiri Pandit employees.

15) Rs. 400 Cr for development of Industrial Estates and related infrastructure.

16) Rs. 370 Cr under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) scheme.

17) Rs. 390 Cr for Flood Management Project of River Jhelum.

18) Rs. 450 Cr for GST reimbursement to ensure timely reimbursement of the claims.

19) Rs. 272Cr for DDC/BDC grants improving local governance at district and block level

20) Rs. 174 Crfor development of model schools under PM-Shri scheme.

21) Rs. 150 Cr for developing rooftop solar and other avenues of new and renewable energy.

22) Rs. 140 Cr for creation of Sports Infrastructure

23) Rs. 100 Cr for conclusion of World Bank funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.

24) Rs. 100 Cr for Mission Youth programmes for education, skilling, and employment

25) Rs.  100 Cr for heritage preservation,

26) Rs. 91 Cr for new tourism destinations, new circuits, Sufi circuit and identified religious circuits, ropeways, highway resting place and promotion of Golf.

27) Rs. 70 Cr under infrastructure for welfare of tribals for construction of Tribal Hostels/Milk Villages/ Nomad Shelters/Libraries for Gujjars.

28) Rs. 100 Cr for sewerage projects in urban areas, Rs. 70 Cr for development of new Townships and affordable housing and Rs. 50 Cr for Dal development.

29) Rs. 40 Cr for Tourism promotion, Rs. 15 Cr for the festival promotion and for promotion of cinema/ theatre.

30) Rs. 40 Cr for meeting incentives as per the provisions of the Industrial Policy and Start-ups; Rs. 15 Cr for trade promotion through J&K TPO; and Rs. 100 Cr for Youth startup/Job fairs/employment fairs.

31) Rs. 30 Cr for establishment of cold storage and Rs. 30 Cr for high density plantation.

32) Rs. 80 Cr for establishment of DDC/BDC/PRI accommodation and offices as also for security arrangements of DDC/BDC/PRI representatives.

33) Rs. 59Cr for construction of Police Housing colony and relief and rehabilitation

34) Rs. 45Cr for construction of Bunkers and for digitization and CCTVs in Police Stations

35) Rs. 30 Cr for improving Quality in Schools, School Infrastructure, for Career Counseling and for introduction of additional Streams in Schools.

36) Rs. 5 Cr for replacement of old fleet in transport sector.

The two Appropriation Bills on the Supplementary Demands for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25 of the UT Government are likely to be considered by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during 7th to 9th February 2024.

 

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