Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2022, and Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2022 are the most discussed bills in the central legislative assembly. After many discussions and oppositions, the Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2022, and Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No. 2) Bill, 2022 were passed in the Lok Sabha in this year’s budget session. Introduced to make Jammu and Kashmir, a model of development, the government has set the budget for Jammu and Kashmir to be more than one lakh crore rupees. In this article, we will get more insights about the bill in detail.
What is an Appropriation Bill?
During an ongoing financial year, the Centre may incur expenditures from the Consolidated Fund of India by using an Appropriation Bill. According to Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, the money from the Consolidated Fund can be withdrawn by the government post receiving approval from the parliament and the appropriation bill states the quantum and purpose of the government why the money is being withdrawn.
In the normal course, the government introduces the bill in the lower house of the parliament after discussions on budget proposals are done. It is first passed by the Lok Sabha followed by the Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha suggests any amendments to it if required. However, it depends pon the Lok Sabha or Lower house to accept or reject the recommendations made by the Upper House.
What is a Consolidated Fund of India?
The Consolidated Fund of India is constituted as follows according to Article 266 (1) of the Constitution:
- All revenues generated by the Centre from taxes (Income Tax, Central Excise, Customs, et al.) as well as all revenues from other sources
- All external debt and domestic debt incurred by the Centre, including all treasury bills issued by the Centre (internal debt).
What is the Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Act, of 2022?
The bill was introduced on 31 October 2019, according to Section 73 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. However, on October 2019, Section 73 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 was invoked and the operation of several provisions of the mentioned activities was suspended, resulting in the suspension of the assembly. Resultant, the governance of the state came under the central government.
As per Section 74 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the President has the power to authorize the payments from the consolidated fund of the state, if the assembly is dissolved or suspended if such approvals are pending from the parliament. This Act intends that the sums authorized to be paid from and out of the Union territory's Consolidated Fund are appropriated for the purposes and services specified in the Schedule to the said year (including revenue for general administration, finance, law, social welfare, housing, and other departments).
In august 2019, the Indian government repealed Article 370 taking away the special status of the union territory. Post the revocation of the article the government claimed that there were many development projects initiated for the state. They demanded an allocation of Rs. 18,860 crores for the education, home, health, and medical department but only 7,872 crores has been allocated to them. While introducing the bill, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that Rs. 44,177 crore investment proposals were received mostly from outside. As per her statement, the employment rate has reduced to 13.2 percent.
This year in March, the bill was passed for Rs. 1.42 lakh crore for Jammu and Kashmir along with grants seeking additional spending of Rs. 18,860 crores.