Power projects given massive grants
Ladakh granted Rs 5958 cr worth funding
JAMMU, Feb 1: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced Rs 35,581 crore worth Revenue grants for Jammu and Kashmir and Rs 5958 crore for the Union Territory of Ladakh in the annual budget presented in the Parliament for the year 2023-24.
Significantly, the Central grants in the Revised Estimates for ongoing financial year of 2022-23 have been hiked by about Rs 9000 crore and were now pegged at Rs 44538.13 crore.
The Central assistance for next financial year of 2023-24 are exactly same as given in the ongoing year of 2022-23. However, if Revised Estimates for current year are taken into account, the financial assistance for next year will be down by Rs 9,000 crore but it can go up when the estimates are revised again later.
In the Department of Higher Education, Jammu and Kashmir, which was allocated Rs 200 crore for the current financial year of 2022-23 has been given no amount for next fiscal year of 2023-24. No grants for next year are because of the fact that the Special Scholarship Scheme has been merged with PM-USP Yojana.
Power projects in Jammu and Kashmir have been sanctioned significant funds for expediting construction work while there has been provision for industrial development in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh in the annual budget.
As per the budget, Jammu and Kashmir has been given Rs 35581.44 crore worth Revenue grants for the year 2023-24.
The UT of Ladakh was granted Rs 5958 crore worth grants including Rs 2808.08 crore for Revenue and Rs 3149.95 crore for Capital expenditure.
Grants to both the Union Territories will come through the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Ladakh has been granted Rs 97.30 crore for Industrial Development of Ladakh Scheme, 2022 for the first time for the year 2023-24. Jammu and Kashmir will get Rs 50 crore for Industrial Development Scheme , 2017 and some amount under Package for Special Category States for J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
“The new Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of Jammu and Kashmir shall be effective up to 31.03.2037 with total outlay of Rs 28,400 crore and will provide incentives like capital investment, capital interest subvention, Goods and Service Tax Linked Incentive and Working Capital Interest Subvention.
Similarly, the new Central Scheme for Industrial Development of UT of Ladakh shall be from 2023-24 with total outlay of Rs 3500 crore. During scheme period, all incentives mentioned in J&K Industrial Scheme will be applicable.
Out of Rs 35581.44 crore worth grants, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed Rs 130 crore (Revenue) for equity contribution for 624 MW Kiru Hydro Electric Project (HEP), Rs 476.44 crore Revenue grants towards equity for 800 MW Ratle HEP, Rs 500 crore Revenue grant on account of Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project and Rs 171.23 crore Revenue grants for equity contribution of 540 MW KWR HEP.
Other grants to Jammu and Kashmir from the total fund include Rs 33923 crore as Central Assistants to UT and Rs 279 crore for Disaster Response Fund.
The budget had special mention of enhancement of sports facilities in Jammu and Kashmir saying this scheme is an important tool for promotion of peace and development.
“Sports infrastructure and sports facilities in Jammu and Kashmir will be upgraded and developed under this scheme,” the budget document said.
The Ministry of Defence has proposed Rs 1797.74 crore for Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry. The Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, which was known as J&K militia up to 1977, is presently a full-fledged Regiment of the Indian Army having 15 battalions apart from a Regimental Centre and Record Office.
The Border Area Development Programme (BADP), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which could also benefit Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as both the UTs have large number of border villages, has been allocated Rs 600 crore in the budget.
The MHA has also kept an amount of Rs 301.61 crore for relief and rehabilitation for migrants and repatriates, Rs 5 crore for Ladakh and Rs 11 crore for J&K and Himachal Pradesh for helicopter services.
“The provision is for subsidised helicopter services in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to provide connectivity to remote areas,” the budget document said.
Rs 20,700 cr green
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced India’s first mega renewable energy transmission line project from Ladakh to Haryana in the 2023 budget today.
“The Inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW renewable energy from Ladakh will be constructed with an investment of Rs 20,700 crore including Central support of Rs 8,300 crore,” Sitharaman said.
She announced this project as part of the Government’s seven priority sectors. This renewable energy transmission line project was put under the “green growth” priority sector through which the Government aims to make a green transition across major sectors of the economy.
The green energy transmission corridor is being planned between Pang in Ladakh and Kaithal in Haryana. It will span 900 kilometres.
The corridor is being planned specifically to evacuate at least 13 Gigawatts (GW) of power from the 10 GW renewable energy (RE) park being planned in Leh and another 4 GW through wind energy systems to be built in the Union Territory.
The project was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018-19. The project said the transmission line will also have a 12 GWh battery energy storage component.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh R KMathur has welcomed the green energy proposal.
‘Rs 20,700 crs investment announced for (including Rs. 83,00 crs of central support) green energy projects for Ladakh will provide and important part of the funding to achieve the PM’s vision of a #CarbonNeutralLadakh,” Mathur tweeted.