Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra on Saturday reviewed budget preparations for the new fiscal beginning April 2016, an official statement said. A meeting chaired by Vohra at the Raj Bhavan to to review the status of preparation of the budget for 2016-17 was also attended by Chief Secretary B.R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Governor P.K. Tripathi and Finance Commissioner Navin K. Choudhary, it said.
"The governor was informed that the financial commissioner, planning and development and commissioner, finance department have held extensive discussions with all the administrative secretaries and heads of departments regarding the preparation of the Revised Estimates (2015-16) and Budget Estimates (2016-17). "The governor was also informed that joint reviews are being held to complete the exercise for segregating the revenue and capital components of the Budget Estimates (2016-17), which requirement has arisen with the inception of the new regime after the Planning Commission was replaced by the NITI Aayog," it said. According to the statement, Vohra, after discussions, asked the chief secretary and finance secretary to expedite the process of finalizing the budget 2016-17 for its timely approval and also keep the papers ready for securing a Vote on Account in case such contingency arises. "The governor directed that the budget (2016-17) be brought up on March 1, 2016, for a final decision," it said, adding he directed that Revised Estimates (2015-16) for capital expenditure be submitted for his immediate approval so that the balance funds could be released to various identified departments for utilizing available resources in the remaining two months of fiscal 2015-16. It cited a Raj Bhavan spokesperson noting that on the governor's earlier direction, the balance required funds for meeting the salaries and other revenue components have already been released by the finance department. The state was placed under governor's rule on January 8 following the death of the chief minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on January 7. As the chances of an elected government taking office in the state now appear bleak because of the PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti showing little inclination to head the PDP-BJP coalition, Vohra has started expediting administrative matters to ensure smooth running of the government here.