After the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is on the path of progress. According to documents, the budget of UT announced in March is twice the size of Pakistan’s bailout request to the International Monetary Fund. The budget of UT stood at Rs 1,18,500 crore ($14.5 billion); on the other hand, Pakistan sought a $7 billion loan from the IMF.
On March 13, 2023, while announcing the budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted many key infrastructure projects, including the 8.45 km Qazigund-Banihal tunnel at the cost of Rs 31.17 billion, which would help in reducing the travel time between Srinagar and Jammu from ten hours to five.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s budget exists nowhere in comparison. Pakistan, in its budget announced in June 2022, reserved only $2.6 billion for development programs, which is known as the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), for the entire country.
Also, the PSDP has seen a 19 per cent year-on-year cut, affecting Pakistan’s development priorities.
In June 2022, the then Imran Khan led tabled the federal budget of $33.4 billion for the FY 2022-23. It was presented in the wake of a deep economic crisis. Of the total budget, $575.9 million was allocated to the PoK for the financial year 2022-23.
Notably, Food prices in Pakistan continue to soar. The prices have skyrocketed amid the ongoing month of Ramzan. According to reports, rice prices have increased from PKR 70 per kg to PKR 335 per kg. Sweet oranges cost PKR 440 per dozen, oranges cost PKR 400 per dozen, bananas cost PKR 300 per dozen, pomegranate costs PKR 400, Iranian apple costs PKR 340 per kg, Kohati guava costs PKR 350, and strawberries cost PKR 280 per kg.
Also, due to the ongoing crisis, the country is facing a shortage of life-saving drugs, and both public and private healthcare facilities in Pakistan are experiencing a lack of imported vaccines, reproductive medications, cancer treatments, and anaesthetic gases.