Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the Rs 80,313 crore annual budget 2018-19 presented in both Houses of the state legislature today, terming it development-focused and people-oriented. Based on the feedback from her public outreach programme, Rs 200 crore was earmarked for drinkingwater supply in the state, and Rs 50 crore for completionof around 1000 ongoing schemes, Mufti said here. This, the chief minister said, depicted the developmental intervention the government has thought of for changing the socio economic profile of the State. Mufti said the budget, by focusing on panchayats, displayed the commitment of her government to strengthen the local self governments at political, administrative and financial levels. Lauding the budget presented by state Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu in the Legislative Assembly, the ruling Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) called it a big sigh of relief for the marginalised and unrepresented class of the state. PDP's Srinagar district president and member of Legislative Council Mohammad Khurshid Alam said the budget was a much needed one as it had all the contents to benefit the common masses across the state. "From industrialists to houseboat owners, and from daily wagers to state government employees, the budget has adopted the most humane approach in addressing the woes of the common man living in the state," Alam said. The PDP MLC said covering the transgender community of the state under the BPL category was a landmark decision. "The implementation of the 7th Pay Commission will be a major achievement of the government as unlike the previous governments, this regime didn't compel its employees to hit the streets for their demands," he added. Terming it a budget with a 'conscience and a heart' to reach out to every section of the society, Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar lauded Finance Minister Drabu for taking into consideration the interests and aspirations of common masses, employees, businessmen, traders, youth, poor and marginalised. It had been prepared keeping in mind both the people's interests, and the short and long-term economic objectives of the state, Akhtar added.
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