Keeping in view the uncertainty over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir after the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, State Governor N N Vohra has asked the Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary to prepare both the budget as also papers for Vote on Account for 2016-17.
Reviewing the status of preparation of Budget for the coming financial year at a meeting in Raj Bhawan here, Governor asked both the Chief Secretary B R Sharma and Finance Secretary Navin K Choudhary “to expedite the finalisation of Budget for its timely approval and also keep the papers ready for securing a Vote on Account in case such contingency arises’’, an official spokesperson here said. “The Governor directed that the Budget be brought up on March 1 for a final decision,’’ the spokesperson added.
The Governor also directed that revised estimates for capital expenditure during 2015-16 be submitted for his immediate approval so that the balance funds could be released to various identified departments for utilising the available resources during the next two months. On Governor’s directions, the balance required funds for meeting the salaries and other revenue components have already been released by the Finance Department, spokesperson pointed out.
He also directed the Chief Secretary to expedite completion of process of regularisation of eligible daily wagers and those engaged on contractual basis by March 1 this year. However, there shall be no fresh engagement of casual/seasonal labourer by any department or state owned public sector undertaking, he ordered.
Vohra had set into motion the process of taking Vote on Account during February last also when formation of new government was taking time leading to imposition of Governor’s rule. However, PDP-BJP coalition government led by Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed assumed office on March 1, 2015 with the then Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu presenting the budget on March 22.
Drabu had completed most of the budget preparation exercise in view of the government’s decision to convene the budget session of state legislature from January 18, but government ceased to exist following the death of Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed on January 7 leading to imposition of Governor’s rule.