New Delhi, Mar 13: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented Rs 1,18,500 crore budget for J&K Union Territory, with a focus on good governance ,strengthening grassroots democracy, promoting sustainable agriculture, facilitating investment and industrial growth, women empowerment and social inclusion. This was the fourth consecutive budget of J&K which was tabled in the Parliament.
The total budget estimates for 2023-24 for J&K is Rs 1, 18,500 crore, documents reveal.
According to the budget documents, out of Rs 1, 18,500 crore, Rs 41,491 crore have been allocated for capital expenditure( development) and Rs 77,009 crore provisioned for revenue expenditure(salaries, pensions, interest payment, etc).
In her speech, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister said that the budget 2023-24 for Jammu and Kashmir shall again cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark, an indicator of our commitment to make J&K a model of development.
“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,” she said, adding that the capital component of the budget has increased substantially.
“The expected revenue receipts are Rs 1,06,061 crore whereas Revenue expenditure is expected to be Rs 77,009 crore, thereby making available revenue surplus for capital expenditure to the tune of Rs 29,052 crore,” reads her budget speech.
She said the capital receipts are projected at Rs 12,439 crore and capital expenditure is expected to the tune of Rs 41,491 crore.
“35% of the earmarked budget shall be spent on development and infrastructure projects,” she said.
In her budget speech, the Finance Minister said that J&K has witnessed unprecedented development and improvement in law and order situation since August 2019. “The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed unprecedented level of development in various sectors since historic changes in August, 2019. The people of Jammu and Kashmir not only welcomed but have embraced these changes with open heart. The law and order situation has improved appreciably. Pace of development in all critical sectors such as power, tourism, road connectivity, urban sector, health, sports, water and rural development etc., is remarkable,” reads the speech.
She said J&K has been among top performers in the country for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Amrit Sarovar, SVAMITVA Scheme, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Nasha Mukt Abhiyan and renewable energy development.
“Besides, Jammu and Kashmir is among top performers in agriculture income, ease of living, ease of doing business, transparency, sustainable development goals and one nation, one ration card,” reads the speech.
The Finance Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir leads the nation under various health parameters like neo-natal mortality rate, infant mortality rate, sex ratio at birth, institutional births and percentage of fully immunized children.
She further said that Jammu & Kashmir government has made concerted efforts to introduce multitude of reforms like establishment of grassroots level democracy, creation of knowledge society and expansion of digital and physical connectivity.
“More than 445 services are now being provided in online mode in Jammu and Kashmir. Offline services have been completely stopped thus ushering a new digital era in Jammu and Kashmir,” the budget speech reads.
In her budget speech, the Finance Minister also said that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is the first among States/Union Territories to have district good governance Index for assessing the public service delivery at district level. “Two new unique initiatives “Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme” with an objective to provide financial assistance of Rs. 10.00 Lakh to selected 285 Panchayats (one Panchayat per Block) for their holistic development and “Aspirational Towns Development Programme” for holistic development of selected Aspirational Towns has been launched during 2022-23. A Panchayat Development Index and Town Development Index have also been developed to measure the progress,” she said.
She said that Kashmir is likely to be connected to rest of the country through rail network by the end of the year 2023. “Road infrastructure by way of construction of mega highways and tunnel projects is in progress. A number of highway projects are presently under execution. Work on Srinagar-Jammu national highway is being completed in next 2-3 years bringing much respite for the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” she said.
She said that power generation capacity will be doubled in 3 years. “In last 2 years alone, projects of more than 3000 MW capacity have been revived and put on track. Work on 1000 MW Pakal Dul and 624 MW Kiru is in full swing. 850 MW Ratle has been awarded. Preconstruction activities have been initiated for 1856 MW Sawalkote project by NHPC,” she said.
Talking about employment, the Finance Minister said that largest- ever recruitment drive has been initiated in Jammu & Kashmir. “33426 Posts have been referred to recruiting agencies, against which 25450 selections have been made including 2436 selections of Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited. Remaining are under process for fast track recruitment,” she said.
She said over 1.88 core tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir during previous year upto December, 2022. “Out of this 26.73 lakh tourists visited Kashmir which is more than double than the previous highest of 12.99 lakh in the year 2016. For the first time, the world famous Gulmarg Gondola has realized revenue of about Rs. 100 crore,” she said.
In a major push for agriculture and horticulture sectors, Rs 1239.45 crore has been allocated more to it than the previous year’s budget allocation. “For agriculture and horticulture sectors, an allocation of about Rs. 2526.74 crore has been made under capital expenditure for the year 2023-24 which is Rs. 1239.45 crore more than previous year’s budget allocation,” reads the budget documents.
According to the budget document, the Jammu & Kashmir Holistic Agriculture Development Plan will be rolled out which will make horizontal change in the agriculture sector in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. “Under this plan, 29 projects have been approved with an outlay of Rs 5,012 crore over a period of next five years. This will transform the agriculture economy of Jammu and Kashmir putting it on a new trajectory of growth, doubling the output of sectors, boosting exports and making the sectors sustainable and commercially viable,” the budget document states.
“It will herald a new phase of farming prosperity and rural livelihood security in Jammu and Kashmir and create additional job opportunities to 2, 87,910 people in agriculture and allied sectors. 18,861 new business enterprises will be created over the period of next five years”.
The health and medical education sector has been allocated Rs 2097.53 crore under capital expenditure for the year 2023-24, which is Rs 214.97 crore more than the previous year’s budget allocation.
“For rural sector, an allocation of about Rs. 4169.26 crore has been made under capital expenditure for the year 2023-24,” the document states.
An allocation of about Rs. 1964.90 crore has been made under capital expenditure for power sector, the budget document states.
“For tourism and culture sectors, an allocation of about Rs 457.39 crore has been made under capital expenditure for the year 2023-24 which is Rs 54.31 crore more than previous year’s budget allocation,” the document states.
The Jal Shakti department has been allocated Rs 7161 crore under capital expenditure for 2023-24, which is Rs. 3191 crore more the previous year’s budget allocation.
In the budget, an allocation of about Rs. 2928.04 crore has been made under capital expenditure for Housing & Urban Development Department for the year 2023-24 which is Rs. 674.78 crore more than the previous year’s budget allocation. “Elevated light metro rail in both the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar is expected to be rolled out during 2023-24 which will help the commuters in both the capital cities and also help in traffic decongestion,” the document states.
An allocation of about Rs 1521.87 crore has been made under capital expenditure for school education and higher education sectors for the year 2023-24, which is Rs 193.61 crore more than the previous year’s budget allocation.
The road and bridge sector will get an allocation of about Rs 4062.87 crore under capital expenditure for the year 2023-24, which is Rs 98.99 crore more than the previous year’s budget allocation.
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