With the Jammu and Kashmir state yet to receive any assurance from the Centre on the financial assistance it will get for the next financial year,it has decided to go for the vote on account to meet the expenditure for the five months during the next year instead of full budget.
The decision was taken in Jammu in a cabinet meeting which was chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister,Omar Abdullah,on Thursday.
J-K Chief Secretary,S S Kapur,said we have decided to go for the vote on account as the centre also presented an interim budget.
Sources said that while there was a decision from the government on vote on account,Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minster,Abdul Rahim Rather,is likely to present a brief statement in the state legislative assembly session which will begin from February 25 to give the state of finances of the government.
Officials said that government took the decision to go for vote on account instead of a full budget,as the state was yet to finalise its plan in consultation with the Planning Commission. J-K Chief Minister,Omar Abdullah,is meeting the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission,Montek Singh Ahluwalia,in the month of March to finalise its plan.
J-K Chief Secretary said that before the final meeting with the Deputy Chairman of planning commission,a team of state government officials will meet the Planning Commission on March 18.
Officials said that since the budget session is beginning later this month,they couldnt have stretched the session too long to hold the discussions on budget grants,which was the reason to go for the vote on account.
With the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April this year,the government cant even make any big commitments on the floor of the legislative assembly in view of the model code of conduct and the discussions even on the budget grants become irrelevant, officials said.
Jammu and Kashmirs Economic Advisor,Jalil Ahmed Khan,said the planning commission will discuss the sectoral outlays with the different state government departments before the finalization of the plan and the meetings will continue between March 16 and 18.
He said that the state was reviewing its financial position as of now. In the collections of the value added tax,there has been an increase.
However officials said that as far as the internal resource mobilization of the state was concerned,it needs to plug the loopholes in collection of revenue in the power sector where the targets have fallen short by nearly half.