After 8 years, J&K Budget in January -
After 8 years, J&K Budget in January
Posted 21 Dec 2016 12:40 PM

In a departure from the practice of presenting the State’s annual budget in March, the J&K Government would present budget for 2017-18 on January 9, 2017, much before the start of next fiscal.

Finance Minister DrHaseebDrabu would present the budget on January 9 during the month-long Assembly session that will commence from January 2 in Jammu with the Governor’s address to joint sitting of both the law-making Houses.

This would be Drabu’s third budget after PDP and BJP joined hands to form Government in the state on March 1, 2015.

The entire budget process would be completed by January 28 – more than two months before the beginning of the next fiscal - with passage of the appropriation bills by the State legislature on that day.
Coincidentally, the Government of India has also approved advancing the date for presentation of the Union
Budget by a month.

Earlier this year, Drabu’s plan to advance presentation of budget for 2016-17 could not be implemented following the demise of then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on January 7, 2016. The State remained under Governor’s Rule for nearly three months before formation of the Government under Mehbooba Mufti on April 4, 2016.

In absence of the popular Government, Governor NN Vohra passed a Vote-On-Account for three months on March 28, 2016. However, following formation of the Government, the Budget was presented here on May 30. Previously, the Budget presentation was also preponed when GhulamNabi Azad was heading the PDP-Congress coalition Government in the State.

For 2008-09, then Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra presented budget on January 16, 2008.
But the Planning Commission of India accorded conditional approval to State’s Annual Plan, which formed a major part of the State Budget, only on August 18, 2008 when State was under Governor’s rule following resignation of GhulamNabi Azad as CM after PDP withdrew support from his government.

The J&K Government today said that advancing the date of presenting budget is aimed at streamlining public expenditure and ensuring effective management of resources.
“We were supposed to advance the presentation of budget for 2016-17 also but we couldn’t do so due to unfortunate demise of Mufti Sahab. The move (advancing budget) will ensure better planning and execution of schemes from the beginning of the financial year and utilization of funds from first quarter. When you have idea about your allocations, you cannot hide under any excuse. Now, you can complete tendering process in advance so that works are taken up from the start of the financial year,” Commissioner/Secretary Finance, NavinChoudhary told Greater Kashmir.

“Advancement of the budget would also ensure timely completion of works in the areas of State where we have limited working season”.

“In Kashmir and Ladakh, the works are impacted (due to limited working season). But now you can execute developmental projects and schemes in these regions from the beginning of April,” he said.

The 32-day long budget session would culminate on February 4 when Government business would be taken up in the House.

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