Govt. gears for an early Budget

Session to be advanced by three weeks to pass budget before model code of conduct 

JAMMU: The state government is planning to advance the Budget Session by about three weeks to pass a full budget (2014-15) well before the Model Code of Conduct for Lok Sabha elections is enforced by March.  

Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather, chaired a meeting of top finance officials here Saturday in this regard, an official spokesman here said today. 

The meeting discussed strategies regarding presentation of budget immediately after passing of Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s Address by the House of Budget immediately after passing of Motion of Thanks on the governor’s address by the House. 

The move is aimed to ensure passing of full budget instead of ‘Vote on Account’, well before the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct by the Election Commission of India, expected anytime in the beginning of March, 2014,

For this purpose the Budget Session of 2014-15 is proposed to be advanced by about three weeks from the last year when it started on February 28th, 2013.

The meeting was attended by the Economic Advisor to Government, Jalil Ahmed Khan, Principal Secretary, Finance Department, B B Vyas, Commissioner Excise, Vineeta Gupta, Commissioner Commercial Taxes, Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, and other officials.

The officials decided that the pre-budget consultations with various stake holders shall be initiated from Jan 24 and 25 at Srinagar followed by the discussion at Jammu on Jan 27 and 28. Consultations will be held with representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Federations of Industries, Hoteliers, Traders, Intellectuals and Experts and Group of Farmers separately at Srinagar and Jammu.

The minister asked the officers to complete the tasks regarding Budget preparation as per the tentative schedule.  He also asked to complete Economic Survey Report for the year 2013-14  at the earliest for its presentation in the ensuing Budget Session.

Meanwhile, a team of senior officers is rushing to Delhi to hold discussions in the Planning Commission on Jan 23  to firm up resource position for the next year’s Annual Plan.

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