The Lok Sabha on Wednesday approved over Rs 1-lakh crore Budget for Jammu and Kashmir for 2020-21 with emphasis on the development of newly carved-out Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir was made a Union Territory with effect from October 31, 2019.
Since the bifurcation (October 31), as many as 45 lakh beneficiaries have got Rs 1,705 crore disbursed through direct benefit transfers to their accounts directly during this financial year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in reply to the debate on Budget for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Sixty thousand new pension cases shall be covered through the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme in the coming financial year, she said. "We intend to achieve 100 per cent coverage under individual beneficiary schemes, particularly under various scholarship schemes," she said.
She also said 355 hectare shall be brought under high-density apple plantation, a new way of cultivating. With this, farmers can earn three times more than what they have been earning from an apple orchard, she added.
With regard to the tourism development, the finance minister said three religious circuits have been announced in the Budget. For tourism and culture sectors, an allocation of Rs 706 crore has been made for 2020-21, which is Rs 260 crore more than the previous year's budget allocation, she said.
For improving the employment and skill development, she said that in the traditional jewellery sector, silver filigree works will be promoted apart from funding start-ups in the region. The Budget proposes to fill up 50,000 vacancies in government sector, she said.
The 'Back to Village' programme, launched by the Government of J&K, has been very well received and the government proposed to provide Rs 200 crore under the programme for providing basic and other amenities in villages, she added. She further said exports from the state are witnessing a rise along with the GST collection.
In her Budget speech in Parliament on Tuesday, she had informed that the Budget 2020-21 for J&K shall cross Rs 1-lakh crore mark for the first time, an indicator of commitment to make J&K a model of development.
"This is the highest-ever Budget envisaged for Jammu and Kashmir. The total budget estimates for the fiscal is Rs 1,01,428 crore, of which developmental expenditure is of the order of Rs 38,764 crore, an increase of 27 per cent," she had said.
She had expressed hope to achieve gross state domestic product (GSDP) growth of 11 per cent, making the UT one of the fastest-growing UTs/states.
"The capital component of the Budget has increased substantially and the expected revenue receipts are Rs 91,100 crore, whereas revenue expenditure is expected to be Rs 62,664 crore, thereby making available revenue surplus for capital expenditure to the tune of Rs 28,436 crore," she had said.
The capital receipts are projected at Rs 10,329 crore and capital expenditure is expected to the tune of Rs 38,764 crore, which is 27 per cent higher than the previous year's Budget.
With regard to Union territory of Ladakh carved out of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, the total Budget Estimates for the past 5 months have been pegged at Rs 5,754 crore. Of this, she had said capital expenditure would be Rs 4,618.35 crore and revenue expenditure would be Rs 1,135.65 crore.