Post abrogation of Article 370: J&K, Ladakh to get 15th FC grants under special provision
Srinagar, Feb 8: Post abrogation of Article 370, a special provision has been made to include Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh in the list of states which are entitled for grants from the 15th Finance Commission. Union Territories (UTs) are not entitled for funds from Finance Commission. In fact, UTs are allocated funds from Centre’s special share. The 15th Finance Commission has recommended 41 percent of the estimated divisible pool (Centre’s tax collections) to 28 states. It has included J&K and Ladakh under a special provision to plug the gap of development in the new Union Territories. The Commission has also recommended one per cent share for the newly created Union Territories –J&K, and Ladakh. Earlier, the erstwhile state would get a share of 0.85 percent from the Commission. An official of Finance Department said a special provision has been made to include J&K and Ladakh to get funds from the Finance Commission. “J&K will get funds from 15th Finance Commission. Plus it will get special grants from the Centre for which only Union Territories are entitled to,” he said. The official said that focus of the J&K government was on completion of the languishing projects in health, education and other utility sectors. “Funds to be received from 15th Finance Commission will be spent on various sectors for overall development of the new UT,” the official said. The 15th Finance Commission has recommended Rs 90,000 crore as grants for 2020-21 to 28 states and two Union Territories-J&K, and Ladakh. Centre has also accepted recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission and the final report would now be submitted to the President. The Commission has said two Union Territories have a strong case for receiving grants to meet security and other special needs. The 14th Finance Commission had given Jammu and Kashmir Rs 60,000 crore for five years, which was applicable from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020. The 15th Finance Commission award will be applicable from April 1, 2020 for a period of five financial years — up to March 31, 2025. Jammu and Kashmir’s Finance Department has proposed over Rs one lakh crore budget to the new Union Territory for 2020-21. Last year, State Administration Council headed by the then Governor Satya Pal Malik had approved Rs 88,911 crore for Jammu and Kashmir.