Jammu : The Legislative Assembly Saturday passed Rs 95666.97 crore budget for J&K for the year 2018-19 with 20% step up over the last year’s budget size of Rs 79472 crore. The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill-2018 moved by the Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu in the House in this regard was passed with voice-vote.
Pertinently, for the first time in J&K’s legislative history, the Finance Minister has linked the Appropriation Bill with wide-ranging expenditure reforms to ensure checks and balances for efficient fiscal management and speed up spending to make productive use of resources for the larger public good. Earlier, Dr Drabu had, on January 11 this year, presented the Budget proposals for 2018-19 in the House, comprising a revenue component of Rs 51244.72 crore and capital component of Rs 44422.24 crore. Enumerating the fiscal reforms factored in the Appropriation Bill this year, Dr Drabu said the Finance and the Planning, Development and Monitoring Developments shall release both Revenue and Capital budget to all the administrative departments within two weeks of the passage of the Appropriation Bill.
The Finance Minister said there no payments shall be made by any Treasury/PAO from 1 April 2018, under any expenditure head, if the releases for the same have not been made and further received by the spending and bill passing Officers via BEAMS. “Treasury Officers/PAOs shall be personally liable for making payments on the funds released and received bypassing the BEAMS application,” he said. Dr Drabu further said that the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department shall mandatorily upload on its website the department-wise “Name of the Schemes/Works/Projects”, forming part of the Capex budget for the fiscal 2018-19, along with the respective allocations.
The Finance Minister made it clear that there shall be, henceforth, no engagement of casual workers, need-based workers etc by any department. “The Planning, Monitoring and Development Department shall, invariably, condition all developmental/plan releases to the departments to the unconditional vouchsafing by the latter that they shall refrain from making fresh engagements,” he said.
The Legislators, cutting across the political divide, hailed the extraordinary expenditure reforms outlined by the Finance Minister in the Appropriation Bill to ensure fiscal discipline and speedy and productive use of resources for the larger public good.
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