Valley News Desk

Nasir Azam

Srinagar, Aug 25 (KNO): The administration of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory would soon start an exercise to prepare budget estimates for next financial year and revised budget estimates for ongoing fiscal soon.

Authoritative sources told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that Finance department would soon set the ball rolling for preparation of budget estimates for 2021-22 and revised budget estimates for 2020-21.

“The process is expected to commence from next month,” they said, adding that Finance department will initiate the exercise by writing to all departments.

“The budget preparation is a hectic exercise. It involves preparation of estimates and discussions of different departments with the Finance department.”

The budget for next fiscal would also be tabled in the Parliament since Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory is presently without its Legislative Assembly

On March 18, 2020, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Rs 1,01,428 crore budget of J&K UT in the Parliament. Of which developmental expenditure was Rs 38,764 crore, an increase of 27 per cent than allocations made in 2019-20.

It may be mentioned here that in the year 2006, then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had started the practice of bringing the annual budget quite early—in the beginning of January, owing to special geographical and climatic conditions of Jammu and Kashmir.

The practice ensured that the procedural formalities after the budget announcement in January are completed by April 1, when the new fiscal begins, and the snow melts in higher reaches of the UT including in Chenab Valley and Kathua district, and Gurez, Karnah, Kupwara in Valley, thus not hampering the developmental works.

The practice was followed by the succeeding government led by Omar Abdullah.

However, the PDP-BJP government led by Mufti Mohammad Syed failed to continue with the practice for first two years, before turning the clock back with 2017-18 and 2018-19 budgets announced in the month of January for those two years.

After the fall of last ruling dispensation, the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by last Governor Satya Pal Malik had walked the extra mile by approving the 2019-20 budget in the December 2018—(KNO)

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