JAMMU — The Parliament has approved the Revised Estimates for 2023-24 and Interim Budget 2024-25 for the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, commencing discussions on Tuesday.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman presented the two Appropriation Bills regarding the Supplementary Budget for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25 on February 5, 2024.
Efforts undertaken by the UT Government garnered appreciation from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tuesday, with Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo, Principal Secretary Finance Santosh Vaidya, and Secretary Planning Mohammad Aijaz representing Jammu and Kashmir before the Committee. These efforts underscored the developmental initiatives of the UT government before the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
The Lok Sabha deliberated on the Bills on February 6 and 7 and ratified both on Wednesday. Following approval from the President of India, the Bills were subsequently considered by the Rajya Sabha, which endorsed them on Thursday.
The Finance Department of the UT Government drafted both Bills, taking into account revenue receipts from sources such as GST, motor spirit tax, excise, and stamp duty, as well as non-tax revenue from electricity and water supply, mining royalty, and industrial rents, among others. The UT Government’s own revenue was estimated at Rs 20,867 crore, with additional assistance sought from the Government of India.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo spearheaded the UT’s efforts, holding crucial meetings with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Finance in August 2023, October 2023, and January 2024 to review fiscal demands. The Union Home Minister and Union Finance Minister personally oversaw the fiscal management of the UT Government in recent months.
Consequently, the Central Government has committed to providing Rs 41,751.44 crore to the UT Government in the current fiscal year and Rs 37,277.74 crore in the next fiscal year. These allocations were incorporated into the Revised Estimates of 2023-24 and the Budget Estimates of 2024-25 of the Union Government, encompassing various initiatives including equity contributions for hydropower projects and resource gap assistance.
Moreover, the Parliament approved the Interim Budget for 2024-25, outlining provisions for ongoing initiatives to foster social inclusion, enhance transparency, bolster revenues, and advance infrastructure development in Jammu & Kashmir.
The approved Vote on Account amounts to Rs 59,364 crore, covering revenue and capital expenditures aimed at diverse sectors such as water connectivity, agriculture, education, road infrastructure, decentralized governance, health, housing, social security, industrial development, heritage conservation, and sports infrastructure, among others.
With the parliamentary endorsement of the Appropriation Bills for Supplementary Demands for 2023-24 and Vote on Account for 2024-25, the UT Government is poised to accelerate infrastructure projects and social and economic measures, while striving to meet revenue targets.