Instead of the expected vote on account, the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik approved a full-fledged budget for Jammu and Kashmir for the financial year 2019-20.

Devised to give a massive push to the public infrastructure, Rs 88,911 crore state budget was last evening approved by the SAC.

Among other sectors, the budget has laid stress on power, solar energy, roads, irrigation, public health engineering and tourism.

Advisors to the Governor, K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and Kewal Kumar Sharma, chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and principal secretary to the Governor Umang Narula were present at the specially convened SAC meeting here last evening.

Principal secretary finance, Navin K Choudhary gave a detailed presentation to the SAC on the Revised Estimates for 2018-19, Budget Estimates for 2019-20 and other key features of the budget.

The SAC was informed that the focus of the Budget 2019-20 is to give a big push to tangible developmental initiatives with Rs 30,469 crore earmarked for building public and social infrastructure in addition to Rs 3,631 crore already provided under Languishing Projects Programme.

SAC observed that investment in infrastructure is the growth driver for economy and has a cascading impact on all sectors including employment generation and socio-economic development.

According to chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, the Budget 2019-20 is structured around three fundamental objectives of building infrastructure, building institutions and building systems under the government’s overarching Mission for Delivering Development and Mission on Good Governance.

He said the Budget is aimed at driving the state’s economic growth through multifarious initiatives with thrust on substantive developmental and welfare measures. He said the investment in key developmental and social sectors has been enhanced substantively to leave a visible impact on the ground.

The chief secretary said that to build adequate capacities in the line departments for spending huge developmental funds, it has been decided that the line departments would be adequately strengthened by way of providing consultants, setting up of dedicated DPR preparation cells and Project Implementation Agencies and IT Consultants etc.