The annual budget of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the financial year of 2020-21 will also be passed in the current budget session of the Parliament

In a major boost to infrastructural development in the newly-created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced financial grants of Rs 30,757 cr for J&K and Rs 5958 crore for Ladakh which will give push to ongoing as well as upcoming projects in the financial year of 2020-21.

These were the first major financial grants for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh since October 31, the day erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was formally divided into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

Out of the total financial grants of Rs 30,757 crore for Jammu and Kashmir, the Finance Minister has kept a provision of Rs 279 crore as the contribution to the Union Territory’s Disaster Response Fund while Rs 30,478 crore has been allocated for meeting the resources gap, as per the budget document.

Commenting on Rs 30,757 crore worth financial grants for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh told the Excelsior that this was the biggest ever grant for any UT in the country.

“As far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, this is the second-highest financial grant for single financial year of 2020-21 after Rs 80,000 crore worth Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP). This will go a long way in infrastructural development of Jammu and Kashmir. The grants for Ladakh Union Territory will also give boost to development works there,” Dr Jitendra Singh said.

According to sources, the annual budget of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the financial year of 2020-21 will also be passed in the current budget session of the Parliament. The budget for Jammu and Kashmir will be introduced in both Houses of the Parliament by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Jammu and Kashmir’s budget will continue to be passed by the Parliament till Legislative Assembly elections are held in the Union Territory.

In her budget speech, Sitharaman said the 15th Finance Commission has recommended 41 per cent share in the divisible pool of taxes for States and 1 per cent for the newly created Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh for the financial year 2020-21, thus retaining the devolution formula of the earlier Commission.

The budget also has a provision of providing mobile services in 354 uncovered villages in border and other priority areas of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

An estimated 1.1 percent expenditure of allocated budget to the Home Ministry will be spent on monthly reimbursement to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir for expenditure on major components such as cash relief/free ration to migrants, ex-gratia relief to next of kin of police/security personnel martyred, relief to victims of cross-firing etc.

Another 1.1 percent expenditure of the budget will be used for Security Related Expenditure of Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Rs 2000 crore have been earmarked for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Jammu and Kashmir Police for several programmes to engage the youth of Jammu and Kashmir in activities like sports and culture, medical camps, veterinary camps and Vocational Training Programmes.

Courtesy: Daily Excelsior

Daily Excelsior