Lok Sabha passes Rs 1.18 lakh cr budget, supplementary grants for J&K amid din

Fast track recruitment; new colonies for EWS, LIG, MIG

Cash assistance to Kashmir/Jammu migrants to continue

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Mar 21: Lok Sabha today passed Rs 1,18,950 crore worth budget for Jammu and Kashmir within half an hour amid din created by the Opposition members demanding constitution of Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Adani issue with lone BJP MP from Jammu Jugal Kishore Sharma speaking for a couple of minutes followed by Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary moving the budget for passing on the direction of Rajindra Agarwal, who was chairing proceedings of the House.
Lok Sabha adjourned till 11 am on March 23 after budget of Jammu and Kashmir for 2023-24 and supplementary grants for 2022-23 were passed as Opposition members continue to shout slogans. The budget now has to be passed by the Rajya Sabha before it is released by the Union Finance Ministry.
“This is the second consecutive year when the outlay for Jammu and Kashmir has exceeded Rs one lakh crore which is an indicator of our commitment to make Jammu and Kashmir a role model of development,” noted Pankaj Choudhary while moving the proposals and passing of the budget on behalf of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Of Rs 1,18,950 crore worth budget, revenue expenditure will be Rs 77,009 crore and capital expenditure Rs 41,491 crore.
As soon as the House met again at 2 pm after an adjournment, Rajindra Agarwal, who was chairing the proceedings, asked BJP’s Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament from Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat, to initiate the discussion on the budget for the Union Territory, which is under Central rule at present.
Sharma spoke for a couple of minutes after which the process to pass the budget was initiated. The budget for Jammu and Kashmir was passed by a voice vote amid din within half an hour of the proceedings.
Pankaj Choudhary moved the proposals related to the Union Territory’s budget on behalf of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The bill, which was introduced on Monday, among other things, provided a thrust on housing in rural areas and water tap connections to 18.36 lakh households in Jammu and Kashmir.
As per a revised document pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir budget, vacant posts in the Union Territory will be filled up on fast track basis. It said 33,426 posts have been referred to recruitment agencies. Among them, 25,450 selections have been made including 2436 in Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited.
“Around 2,02,749 youth have been covered under various Self-employment Schemes and target is to cover 2,37,000 by the end of current year. Next year, around three lakh youth will be covered under all the Self-employment Schemes,” it said.
It added that 1984 transit accommodations will be completed for Kashmiri migrant employees during 2023-24 while remaining posts of 355 out of 6000 under Prime Minister’s Package for Kashmiri migrants will be filled up. Rs 309 crore will be provided for their salaries.
“Cash assistance and food grains for Kashmiri/Jammu migrants will continue for which Rs 393 crore have been allocated,” the document said.
It added that 29 projects have been proposed for Agriculture development at an outlay of Rs 5012 crore over a period of next five years. Additional job opportunities will be created for 2,87,910 people in Agriculture, Horticulture and allied sectors while 18,861 new business enterprises will be created during next five years.
New townships and housing colonies will be established for Economically Weaker Sections/Low Income Groups/Middle Income Groups at Jammu and Srinagar.
It said there will be 29 new projects for development of Industrial Estates during 2023-24 and 1500 Units will be covered under Jammu and Kashmir REGP with employment to 9000 persons.
“Fort at Samba, Naristan Tral, Hari Parbhat at Srinagar and General Zorawar Singh Palace at Reasi will be refurbished. Water sports activities at Dal, Wular, Mansar and Baglihar dam site will be launched,” as per the document.
To improve electricity supply, power generation capacity will be doubled in three years with the addition of more than 3,000 MW of capacity.
“Work on the 540 MW Kwar hydroelectric project will commence in 2023-24. Improvement in daily hours of power supply with 24 hours in urban and 22 hours in rural areas is being aimed at. 9,000 solar agriculture pumps will be installed under PM-KUSUM. Eighty MW rooftop solar power plants will be installed at Jammu and 3 MW at Srinagar,” it said.
The PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan) Scheme is aimed at ensuring energy security for farmers in India.
Setting targets for the Government’s flagship schemes, the budget proposed to build 40,000 houses for homeless families under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin scheme and 18,934 units under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban scheme.
The Government aims to cover 1,500 units under the J&K rural employment generation programme that will lead to jobs for 9,000 people.
“The Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises policy will be notified with tie-ups with e-commerce platforms. Full implementation of Gati Shakti will be carried out. Creation of export hubs will be in focus. 6,000 kilometres of black-topping of road length is targeted for 2023-24. Completion of 60 new bridges and passing bays at all major roads will be undertaken. Eighty new food processing units will be set up and made functional,” the document stated.

Budget will ensure well-being ofcommon man: LG

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for Jammu and Kashmir’s budget aimed at expanding UT’s growth and ensuring well-being of the ‘Aam Aadmi’ (common man).
In a series of tweets after Jammu and Kashmir’s budget was passed by Lok Sabha this afternoon, Sinha said the budget will empower youth, women, farmers, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and economically weaker sections.
“UT’s budget 2023-24 is for progressive and aspirational J&K. It lays down the roadmap to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas and to further strengthen social and economic policies,” Sinha said.
He added that the budget will provide major push for sustained, equitable and inclusive growth.
Asserting that the budget reflects commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, the Lieutenant Governor said emphasis has been given to transform Agriculture and Horticulture, Rural Development, industrial growth, employment generation and modernise infrastructure across all the sectors.
“The budget aims to strengthen safety net for farmers, skilling of youth, boost to Start-Ups, development of new townships to mitigate the challenges of rapid urbanization and encourage renewable energy sector,” Sinha said.