The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council today passed a Rs 95,666.97-crore budget for the state for 2018-19, comprising a revenue component of Rs 51,244.72 crore and a capital component of Rs 44,422.24 crore. The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill-2018, passed by the Legislative Assembly Saturday, was moved by the Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu in the Upper House today and was adopted with voice-vote. The Budget proposals for 2018-19 were presented in the House on January 11 wherein the finance minister proposed a 20 per cent step-up over the last year’s budget size of Rs 79,472 crore. Notably, for the first time in J&K’s fiscal history, the finance minister has factored in wide-ranging Expenditure Reforms in the Appropriation Bill making the government legally bound to ensure time-bound public expenditure, avoid delays in development works and reduce pilferages. By setting timelines for release of money and its utilisation across departments and executing agencies, Drabu has linked expenditure reforms with allocation of funds.
“Planning Development and Monitoring Department shall ensure that all planed allocations to be made in the next fiscal bear proper classification, indicating name of the work and scheme,” he had said on January 11. In the absence of the schematic classification, the relevant Capex release shall be deemed as invalid and not open to being operationalisation, he had said. The Finance Minister had said no payments shall be made by any Treasury from April 1 under any expenditure head if the release for the same has not been made and further received by the spending and bill passing officers.
The finance minister made it clear the funds will be spent only on the approved items of the expenditure and strictly for the purpose they have been released. “There shall be no re-appropriation of funds except where the departments have spent 55 per cent of funds received ending December 2017,” he had said. He made it clear that there shall be no engagement of casual need-based workers etc by any department henceforth.