India has announced an interim Budget of $14 billion for fiscal 2024-25 for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 4.5 times greater than the amount sought by Pakistan for its entire nation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to address ongoing economic challenges according to a report from Livemint.
The Washington-based financial body had granted a $3 billion bailout package for Pakistan.
Interestingly, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim budget on the same day Pakistan observed "Kashmir Solidarity Day."
The budget proposal reflected a significant commitment to the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sitharaman highlighted the impactful reforms implemented in 2019, enabling the union territory government to implement groundbreaking measures such as decentralising governance structures, fostering inclusive development, enhancing revenue generation, and advancing infrastructure projects.
"The Government remains committed to maintaining law and order to ensure security while concurrently implementing initiatives for economic and social progress. A zero-tolerance policy against terrorism has been adopted," stated the Finance Minister.
She further noted that security forces have taken decisive and sustained action against terrorism, leading to significant improvements in the situation.
In January, the IMF sanctioned a USD 700 million loan tranche for Pakistan under the existing USD 3 billion bailout package, following the completion of the first review of the country's economic reform programme.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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