Centre to hold two high-level meetings on J&K to review security, finances

3rd consecutive budget of UT to be presented in Parl

UT gears up for next budget,  finalization after Delhi talks

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Dec 1: The Central Government will be holding two high-level meetings on Jammu and Kashmir in the middle of this month on security related situation and finances including preparations for next Financial Year 2022-23 budget which will be presented in the Parliament during budget session in the absence of Legislative Assembly in the Union Territory which is not in place since 2018 due to delay in holding Assembly elections.
Highly placed sources told the Excelsior that the financial position of Jammu and Kashmir will come up for review for last quarter of current financial year i.e. 2021-22 and next financial year of 2022-23 as budget preparations by the Union Territory Government are also in full swing.
Funding under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme and Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) will also be reviewed as funds in these two categories are released depending on the expenditure by the Union Territory Government.
“There has been good progress on the development projects and works. Funding for last four months of current financial year will be released depending on the requirements and spending capacity,” sources said.
The Finance Department of Jammu and Kashmir Government has already completed the exercise for assessing requirements of different departments for next financial year’s budget in the months of September and October while pre-budget discussions with trade, industry and other such bodies have also been held in the Union Territory.
“All stakeholders have been taken onboard. The suggestions given by them will also be incorporated in the budget to the maximum possible extent,” the sources said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had presented Rs 1.08 lakh crore worth budget for 2021-22 for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in March this year in Parliament with focus on Employment, Good Governance, Socio-Economic Development, Infrastructure, Agriculture & Horticulture and Atmanirbhar Bharat. She had projected economy to grow at 7.5 per cent in the Union Territory.
This was for the second successive year that annual budget of Jammu and Kashmir was tabled in the Parliament in the absence of Legislature in the Union Territory due to delay in Assembly elections.
The budget of Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2022-23 will be third consecutive in the Parliament as there was no scope of conduct of Assembly elections within the next few months.
“The budget for 2021-22 for J&K will again cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark, an indicator of our commitment to make the UT a model of development. The total budget estimates for the fiscal is Rs 1,08,621 crore, of which development expenditure is of the order of Rs 39,817 crore,” Sitharaman had said in her budget speech.
Jammu and Kashmir’s budget for 2020-21 was to the tune of Rs 1,01,428 crore.
Sources said another meeting on Jammu and Kashmir proposed by the middle of this month will be on security situation which will be held in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“It will be attended by Police, Intelligence and Home Department officials,” sources said, adding the meeting will focus on security situation in the Union Territory.
Ever since the targeted killings started by the militants in Kashmir, the Union Home Ministry has held series of meetings to review security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with special context of civilian killings especially the non-locals and minorities.
However, there has been no such killings for past some days now due to strict surveillance being made by the Police, Intelligence agencies and security forces.
Counter-terror experts of various agencies also camped in Kashmir for past quite some time to coordinate with Jammu and Kashmir Police and Intelligence agencies and check the killings.
Almost all militants involved in the previous targeted killings have been eliminated by the security forces.