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Parliament approves interim Budget 2024-25, appropriation bills for J&K

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New Delhi/Srinagar: Parliament on Thursday completed the exercise of passing the interim Budget for 2024-25, with Rajya Sabha returning the Finance Bill 2024 and the relevant appropriation bills, including the appropriation bills related to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The bills were returned to Lok Sabha after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s reply on the discussion.

On Wednesday, Lok Sabha passed these bills.

Rajya Sabha returned the Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 2024; The Appropriation Bill, 2024; The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2024; The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2024; and The Finance Bill, 2024.

With Rajya Sabha returning all these money bills to Lok Sabha, the Budget process has been completed.

Sharing details, an official press release said that Parliament considered the Revised Estimates for 2023-24 and Interim Budget 2024-25 of Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The two Appropriation Bills on the Supplementary Budget for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25 were placed by Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sithraman on February 05, 2024.

The ongoing efforts of the UT government were also appreciated by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tuesday. Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, Principal Secretary Finance Santosh Vaidya and Secretary Planning Mohammad Aijaz represented Jammu and Kashmir before the Committee. This effort highlighted the developmental initiatives of the UT government before the Parliamentary Standing Committee, the press release said.

It said the Lok Sabha considered the Bills on 6th and 7th February and passed both the Bills on Wednesday. After seeking approval from the President of India, these Bills were then considered by the Rajya Sabha which approved them on Thursday.

The Finance department of the UT government had drafted both the Bills for 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.

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, the press release said.

It said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo led the UT’s efforts in this direction. “Crucial” meetings were held in August 2023, October 2023 and January 2024 in the 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, the release said.

It said accordingly, the Central government has agreed to provide Rs. 41,751.44 crore to the UT government in this financial year and Rs. 37,277.74 crore in the next financial year. These assistance figures were duly captured in the Revised Estimates of 2023-24 and the Budget Estimates of 2024-25 of the Union government. This assistance includes the normal assistance (resource gap) to the UT government, equity contribution for hydropower projects at Kiru, Kwar and Rattle, etc.

Building on this, the Finance department drafted its Supplementary Budget for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25 and the two Appropriation Bills. 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 crore 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 additionality 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 Parliament also approved the interim budget for 2024-25 for Jammu & Kashmir which makes provisions for the ongoing initiatives in J&K to promote social inclusion, enhance transparency, augment revenues, and step up infrastructure development. It also provides for ongoing measures for sustainable agriculture, industrial estate, PRI level works, employment generation, and developing tourism, the press release said.

The Parliament also approved the UT’s Vote on Account for Rs 59,364 crore.

This interim budget covers revenue expenditure of Rs 40,081 crore and capital expenditure of Rs 19,283 crore. It provides for the ongoing measures and schemes as follows:

  1. Rs 2,959 crore provisioned for tap-water connectivity for rural areas under Jal Jeevan Mission with Rs 532 crore as UT Share.
  2. Rs 934 crore for transforming agriculture and allied sectors of the UT through the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme (HADP), including provisions for the IFAD-funded J&K Comprehensive Investment Plan (JKCIP).
  3. Rs 1,907 crore for rejuvenating school education infrastructure and services through funding under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, PM SHRI and PM Poshan.
  4. Provision of improving road connectivity with Rs 1,683 crore for PMGSY roads, Rs 300 crore for CRF roads, and Rs 1,000 crore for the NABARD scheme.
  5. Rs 1313 crore for strengthening decentralized governance by providing for local area works of panchayat and urban local bodies.
  6. Rs 1,271 crore for strengthening infrastructure and services in the Health sector.
  7. Rs 1,093 crore for rural housing under PM Awas Yojana-Grameen scheme.
  8. Rs 1,000 crore for e-social security coverage for old-aged, widows and Disabled pensions.
  9. Rs 660 crore for J&K’s equity in the hydroelectric projects at Ratle, Kwar, and Kiru, which would provide a stable revenue source and cheaper power.
  10. Rs 505 crore for timely procurement of machinery, equipment, prosthetic aids and drugs in the Health sector through the dedicated corporation.
  11. Rs 500 crore for capitalization of Cooperative Banks, Rural Banks, J&K Bank, etc.
  12. Rs 450 crore for infrastructure of new Colleges and Universities as per NEP vision.
  13. Rs 430 crore for women empowerment intervention of Ladli Beti and Marriage Assistance
  14. Rs 400 crore for construction of Transit accommodations for Kashmiri Pandit employees.
  15. Rs 400 crore for development of Industrial Estates and related infrastructure.
  16. Rs 370 crore under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) scheme.
  17. Rs 390 crore for Flood Management Project of River Jhelum.
  18. Rs 450 crore for GST reimbursement to ensure timely reimbursement of the claims.
  19. Rs 272 crore for DDC /BDC grants improving local governance at district and block level
  20. Rs 174 crore for the development of model schools under the PM-Shri scheme.
  21. Rs 155 crore for industrial incentives, Start-ups, trade promotion, Job fairs, etc.
  22. Rs 155 crore for Heritage Conservation, Tourism promotion, and promotion of festivals, cinema/ theatre.
  23. Rs 150 crore for developing rooftop solar and other avenues of new and renewable energy.
  24. Rs 140 crore for creation of Sports Infrastructure
  25. Rs 104 crore for construction of Police Housing, Bunkers, Police Stations, CCTV, etc.
  26. Rs 100 crore for conclusion of World Bank-funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.
  27. Rs 100 crore for Mission Youth programmes for education, skilling, and employment
  28. Rs 91 crore for new tourism destinations, new circuits, Sufi circuit and identified religious circuits, ropeways, highway resting places and promotion of Golf.
  29. Rs 70 crore under infrastructure for welfare of tribals for construction of Tribal Hostels/Milk Villages/ Nomad Shelters/Libraries for Gujjars.
  30. Rs 100 crore for sewerage projects in urban areas, Rs 70. crore for development of new townships and affordable housing and Rs. 50 crore for Dal development.

With the Parliamentary nod to the two Appropriation Bills on the Supplementary Demands for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25,  the UT Government will now focus on expediting infrastructure projects and social and economic measures and meeting the revenue realization targets.

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