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Jammu and Kashmirbudget gets final touch; Agriculture, Horticulture, SW to get massive funding

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J&K budget gets final touch; Agriculture, Horticulture, SW to get massive funding
 
 
Economy, Per Capita Income to get major boost
Atamnirbhar plank among the focus areas
JAMMU, Mar 11: Boost to economy and Per Capita Income apart from Agriculture, Horticulture and Social Welfare are likely to be major focus of the Jammu and Kashmir Government in annual budget of the Union Territory scheduled to be presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman next week.
Besides employment, generating self-employment opportunities for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir under ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat’ are also likely to be the focus areas in the budget which has been given final touch by Finance Department of the Union Territory and the Union Finance Ministry.
Sources told the Excelsior that a meeting between Jammu and Kashmir’s Government and the Union Finance Ministry officials discussed various issues pertaining to annual budget of the Union Territory and gave it final touch.
Asserting that 18,000 unemployed youth have been given loans, sources said though employment remained focus area, the budget is also likely to stress on ‘Atamnirbhar’ plank of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and keep provision of more funding for the youth.
With one and a half year of the Union Territory now, the focus is also likely to be on giving further boost to economy by taking series of measures suggested by the Finance Department of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Ministry and the Finance Ministry. Certain measures are expected to be taken to increase Per Capital Income, sources said.
“All Sectors will get adequate focus as no Sector can be ignored in the budget,” the officials said when asked about focus areas in the upcoming budget of Jammu and Kashmir. However, they said, Agriculture, Horticulture and Social Welfare will get sufficient funds in annual budget for the financial year of 2021-22.
According to sources, though the budget has to be presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the absence of Legislative Assembly in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, major part of the budget has been drafted by the J&K Government. However, the Home Ministry and the Finance Ministry remained final authority as J&K is now Union Territory and that too without Legislature in the absence of Assembly elections.
Last year, annual budget of Jammu and Kashmir was presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 17 and this year also it could be tabled in Lok Sabha around March 15, sources said, adding that final date for presentation of the budget hasn’t been finalized as yet.
The annual budget of Jammu and Kashmir for the Financial Year 2021-22 has to be tabled and passed in the Parliament before March 31 to ensure that it’s implemented from April 1.
“As Jammu and Kashmir is a Union Territory, its major grants are decided by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs,” sources pointed out.
Though the Union Finance Ministry has to take final call, the officials indicated that annual budget of Jammu and Kashmir for 2021-22 could be worth around Rs 1.25 lakh crore, up by around 25 percent from current financial year of 2020-21 which was to the tune of Rs 1.01 lakh crore in view of good performance by the Union Territory’s Finance Department with no bills pending in the Government Treasuries for long as used to be the cases earlier including those of private persons as well as the Government employees’ retirement and other benefits.
The Finance Department has also held the Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) accountable on host of issues pertaining to the financial discipline, sources said.
Describing expected Rs 1.25 lakh crore worth budget for Jammu and Kashmir as “quite significant”, sources said it is almost on expected lines.
Jammu and Kashmir’s annual budget has seen steep hike during past three years. In 2019-20, J&K had 88,911 crore worth budget which went up to Rs one lakh crore for 2020-21 and is now expected to touch Rs 1.25 lakh crore in the financial year of 2021-22.
Regarding current financial year of 2020-21, sources said, there has been no financial crunch. There has been full cooperation of the Union Home and Finance Ministries to Jammu and Kashmir Government in implementation of the budget proposals, the sources said.
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