JAMMU: The Government has set into motion the process for preparation of the State Budget for 2018-19which is likely to be presented in the Legislature in the first week of January 2018.
Principal Secretary Finance, Mr Navin Kumar Choudhary started department-wise discussions on the budget proposals on November 8 and the entire exercise is likely to be completed by the end of this month. As a part of this exercise the Principal Secretary Finance today held pre-budget discussions with around half a dozen departments including Information, Hospitality & Protocol, Estates, Labour& Employment, Tourism and Ladakh Affairs.
Director Budget Imtiyaz Ahmad and other officers of the Finance and concerned departments were present in these meetings.
TheFinance Department has also sought Action Taken Reports (ATRs) from the departments on the announcements made in the Budget for the current financial year.
“The Government has decided to present the Budget in the State Legislature in the first week of January 2018 and accordingly the Finance Department contemplates to accomplish the process of budget preparation by 2nd week of December 2017”, the Principal Secretary Finance said.
Mr Choudhary said this is for the second consecutive year that the government would be presenting the annual budget in January.The last budget was also presented in the same month by the Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu.
Earlier, the state government used to present the annual budget in March every year.
“Advancing the date of presenting the budget is aimed at streamlining public expenditure, ensuring effective management of resources and timely completion of the developmental projects,” Mr Choudhary said.
He said the Finance Department has also written to all the departments seeking Action Taken Report (ATR) on the previous Budget announcements so that the progress in translating the announcements into reality could be ascertained for passing necessary directions.
Pertinently, the Finance Department had released 100% of the budgetary allocation for the year 2017-18 to ensure that the developmental process is not hampered for want of resources.