SRINAGAR: Union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman Monday presented the Union Budget for the year 2021-22. While presenting the Budget, she announced an allocation of Rs 30,757 crore for newly carved out Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
In her speech, Sitharaman also proposed a gas pipeline project for J&K. Reacting to the announcement, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha lauded the Central Government for announcing the project. “I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and Union Home Minister Amit Shahji for announcing a new gas pipeline project for the development of Jammu and Kashmir in Budget 2021. I congratulate Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanji for an inclusive and growth-oriented historic budget for Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” Sinha wrote on social media handle Twitter.
As given the bifurcations of the proposed plan, Rs 279 Cr have been granted towards contribution to Union Territory And Disaster Response. For being a special category, Rs 20 Cr have been allocated to J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The Industrial Development Scheme, 2017 for J&K UT and UT of Ladakh Rs 100 Cr has been earmarked.
The major portion has been allocated to Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry of Rs 1,451 C and Special Scholarship Scheme of Rs. 225 Cr. To construct a girl’s hostel in J&K, a sum of Rs 20 Cr has been allocated and Centre sector scheme project J&K and Himachal Pradesh, Rs. 11 crores.
However, the Prime Minister’s Development Plan for J&K, which was allocated Rs. 63 crore last year has been left without any allocation.
Grants to Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh in lieu of Finance Commission Awards and State share of Net Proceeds of Taxes, a sum of Rs. 11728.77 was set aside last year. This year it is blank as FM revealed that the amount this time would be provided by the centre.
As part of an enhancement to the sports facilities, Rs 50 Cr have been allocated, but the development of other crafts has been left blank with no allocation. Both J&K and Ladakh are now separate union territories, carved out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, following the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill by Parliament in August 2019.
While talking about the report and recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission submitted in its final report covering the period 2021-2026, she said “the Government has laid the Commission’s report, along with the explanatory memorandum in the Parliament retaining the vertical shares of the states at 41%.” and further said “we recognise our commitment to fiscal federalism and propose therefore to adhere to this recommendation. Jammu and Kashmir in the 14th Finance Commission was entitled to get devolution being a State. Now, the funds to the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh would be provided by the Centre.”
The earlier part of J&K State and now a separate UT, Ladakh in the budget was allocated Rs 5958 Cr. In Ladakh, the government has allocated Rs 83.38 crore for rural development, Rs 80.69 crore for public works, Rs 54.07 crore for power, Rs 52 crore for civil aviation and Rs 47.50 crore for tourism sector among others.