The Jammu and Kashmir Government has geared up to prepare the first budget for the newly created Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh after the abrogation of Article 370 in August. The Government on Friday has ordered that separate budgets of the two UTs would be prepared by October 14 for the next five months beginning November 1.
According to reports, the state Finance Department has asked all the administrative secretaries to segregate the budget into two parts — state budget up to October 31 and beyond that for the Union Territories. The budget will be prepared by October 14. Simultaneously, the Government also directed that the current financial year’s budget should be divided into two parts.
According to a circular issued by the Finance Department, the budget for the current financial year (2019-20) has to be segregated in two parts — seven months from April 1, 2019, to October 31, 2019, as the state of J&K and for five months from November 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, as UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
The Financial Commissioner of Finance Department, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta has called upon all the Administrative Secretaries to take up the task on top priority and convene meetings with the Departments on Saturday to finalise their proposals. He also called for the submission of segregated budget proposals on the BEAMS portal by tomorrow.
The government on August 20 has constituted three separate committees for devising modalities for the functioning of the proposed UTs besides dealing with financial matters and staff issues. It also framed a six-member committee, headed by Principal Secretary, Home, Shalin Kabra to suggest measures to be taken for providing staff to the proposed UT of Ladakh.
According to reports, J&K had projected to spend a whopping Rs. 88,911 crore in the fiscal starting April 1, 2019, and two-thirds of it was revenue expenditure spent on implementing developmental activities valuing slightly less than one-third of the total budget. The last budget in J&K was introduced and passed in the State Legislature in January-February session in 2018 by the then Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu.