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Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council passes budget of the Council for the Year 2010-2011 amounting to Rs. 9007.201 million

ISLAMABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council passed the budget of the Council for the Year 2010-2011 amounting to Rs. 9007.201 million and revised estimates for the year 2009-2010 amounting to Rs. 6251.439 million in its 45th Session held at Prime Minister’s House today.

The Minister Incharge of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council Secretariat Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo while presenting the Budget informed that the share of AJ&K government is 66% of the total Budget which is 50% higher than last year’s budgeted share. He further mentioned that against the target of Rs. 3850.00 million income tax collection from AJ & K an amount of Rs. 5352.350 million has been collect during the financial year 2009-10 almost 40% higher. In accordance with the National Austerity Policy, the Council, he said saved an amount of Rs. 131.750 million out of the non-development expenditure which accounts for 16% of the budgeted allocation.

While explaining the salient features of the current budget, the Minister Incharge said that the operational budget of Rs. 5870.334 million is 10% of the total budget as against 12% operational budget of total budget during last financial year. The budget includes 50% raise in the basic pay of employees of AJ & K with affect from 1st July 2010 in accordance with the financial relief given by the Government of Pakistan to its employees. The development budget amounting to Rs. 2200.000 million, he mentioned, has been proposed for development purpose.

The Minister Incharge, in his concluding remarks, said that the shortfall between revenue receipts amounting to Rs. 5796.853 million and the expected expenditure amounting to Rs. 9007.201 will be met by firstly adopting economy measures, secondly by increasing income tax collection by revamping the department on modern lines, thirdly by drawal from Council Consolidation Fund and fourthly if required by disinvesting portion of Council’s savings as a last resort.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani appreciated the efforts of the Minister Incharge of AJ & K Council Secretariat, the members of the Council and the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir for proper and efficient management of the funds allocated in the Budget. The Prime Minister further mentioned that the establishment of University of Science and Technology for AJ & K in the development programme is a very positive approach and would help to bring about a change in the socio-economic life of the people as well as development in AJ & K. He agreed to personally inaugurate this project since education and health sectors are among his priorities.

The Prime Minister emphasized upon the AJ & K Council as well as AJ & K government to focus on the completion of ongoing development projects. The projects, he added, on which 70% work has been done should be given top priority for completion within financial year, if possible.

The Prime Minister approved the proposal given by the Prime Minister of AJ & K Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan and supported by the members of the Council to celebrate 2011 as the year of self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He accepted to address the joint session of the AJ & K Parliament on one of the occasions to be organized by the Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Prime Minister while presiding the AJ & K Council meeting as its Chairman, said that the Government and the people of Pakistan remain committed to the just cause of Kashmiri people in their struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination.

The Prime Minister assured that Pakistan would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He reminded that Pakistan have always stood for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council’s Resolutions and in line with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Prime Minister pointed out in his remarks that the youth of Kashmir and Kashmiri women have once again risen strongly in protest against the policies of occupation. He observed that the people across Pakistan feel the anguish, suffering and plight of the Kashmiri people as their own. The Council offered Fateha in the meeting for the martyrs who have laid down their lives in the heroic struggle for freedom in the Indian Held Kashmir.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan wants an objective, sustainable, comprehensive and meaningful dialogue process with India which is critical for peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute. He expressed readiness to embark upon a journey of peace in South Asia in order to provide a better life for the people of Pakistan and India for lasting peace and prosperity. He recalled that the cause and the right of self determination of the Kashmiri people remained very close to Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s heart and it was he who had pleaded resolution of Kashmir dispute vehemently at all International foras the UN Security Council.

The Prime Minister observed that the resolution of Kashmir issue can usher in a new era of cooperation in South Asia. He believed that dialogue is the only way forward, therefore, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he agreed in Thimpu in April this year to resume the dialogue process on all issues.


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