Srinagar: The Union Budget 2023-24 for Jammu and Kashmir is yet another major initiative towards rapid growth and welfare of the people in J&K, an official spokesman said Thursday.
According to the official spokesman, this reflects commitment of the government to ensure holistic and inclusive development besides implementation of welfare programmes and execution of various schemes for all segments of the society.
The spokesman said that the allocation of Rs 35,581.44 crore in the Union Budget for J&K announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would accelerate the growth of the J&K.
He said that appreciably, the central grants in the revised estimates for the ongoing financial year of 2022-23 have been hiked by about Rs 9000 crore and were now pegged at Rs 44,538.13 crore.
The spokesman said that the J&K administration would spend the amount for mitigation of natural disasters, to meet the expenditure incurred on account of permanent restoration of infrastructure, which was damaged due to 2014 floods, rehabilitation, preservation, and restoration of Dal-Nageen lake in Srinagar.
He said that the power projects in J&K had been sanctioned significant funds for expediting construction work while there has been provision for industrial development in of J&K and Ladakh in the annual budget.
Of the 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.
The spokesman said that other grants to J&K from the total fund included Rs 33,923 crore as central assistance and Rs 279 crore for Disaster Response Fund.
He said that the Ministry of Defence has proposed Rs 1797.74 crore for Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry.
The spokesman said that Rs 600 crore has also been allotted for the Border Area Development Programme (BADP), a centrally-sponsored scheme which also benefit J&K and Ladakh as both the union territories have a large number of border villages.
He said that the budget had 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 J&K and Himachal Pradesh to provide connectivity to remote areas,” the spokesman quoted the budget document as saying.
He said that the budget had special mention of enhancement of sports facilities in Jammu and Kashmir saying the sector was an important tool towards promotion of peace and prosperity.
“Sports infrastructure and sports facilities in J&K will be upgraded and developed with all requisite facilities,” the spokesman quoting the budget document said.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, has expressed gratitude to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first budget of Amrit Kaal that will put the country on a faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth path to achieve the goal of 5 trillion dollar economy.
The LG said: “The vision for Amrit Kaal-opportunities for citizens with focus on youth, growth and job creation, strong and stable macro-economic environment and priorities to farmers, women, marginalised sections, middle class, and infrastructure will put the economy to its optimum growth path.”
He said that increased investment on infrastructure and employment generation, green growth, agriculture accelerator fund, targeted funding for animal husbandry and Atmanirbhar Bharat Horticulture Clean Plant Programme and tourism promotion would have a force multiplier impact on J&K’s economy.
“Rapid growth and welfare of people is at the centre of the Budget 2023-24. I am grateful to the Finance Minister and Prime Minister for accelerating the tempo of growth in the Handloom and Handicraft sector through PM VIKAS. It will greatly benefit lakhs of artisans of J&K,” the LG said.