The government has kickstarted a process to appoint officials for the two Union Territories (UTs) of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir and to divide the assets between them.
Divisional Commissioner, Ladakh, Saugat Biswas, said that the government has already identified office spaces where the additional staff which will be allocated to the Union Territory of Ladakh will operate. He said that the government will complete the process of allocating the full staff for the UT shortly.
The authorities have constituted the panels to look at many provisions including dividing the manpower as well as assets between the two UTs. Last month the government said that three committees have been constituted to devise modalities for the functioning of the two UTs as well as financial and staff allocations. The committees are headed by one of the advisors of the Governor, financial commissioner and principal secretary home.
The process is on despite opposition by some political parties to the revocation of Article 370, which prevented outsiders from owning property and applying for jobs in the state.
And, amid opposition from various political parties to the revocation of Article 370, even the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded that the "rights of the people of the state should be protected" by granting them "domicile certificates".
BJP spokesperson, Brigadier (retired) Anil Gupta, said that the "domicile certificates should replace the state subject certificates so that the residents get reservation benefits".
"The people of Jammu and Kashmir are getting many reservation benefits in government jobs which include a percentage of reservation for those living in rural areas as well as the borders. These reservations should continue," he said.
Former minister and chairman of National Panthers Party, Harsh Dev Singh, said that the revocation of Article 370 would deprive the people of the state of the jobs.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, earlier passed by the Parliament provides for the allocation of a specific strength of the officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS) for the two UTs. The overall strength of the three services has to be decided by the Central Government on the recommendation of the state government.
"The All India Service officers to be posted to Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Union territory of Ladakh, as the case may be, shall be borne on the Arunachal Goa Mizoram Union Territory cadre, and necessary modifications in corresponding cadre allocations rules may be made accordingly, by the Central Government," notes the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.
For all other employees, it has been specified that the state government will determine the successor Union territory to which every person "shall be finally allotted for service" after consideration of option which is received from the employees seeking the preference for the UT for posting.
However, officials said that in case of deficiency of staff, the UT administration of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh can depute the officials from one UT to other. Biswas said that the total strength of the officers who will be posted in Ladakh will be conveyed by the higher officials at the civil secretariat level to the divisional authorities there.
Officials said that they have been also tasked with the job to divide both the "assets and liabilities" of the different government companies and the public sector undertakings between the two Union territories.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act also provides for the designation of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir as the common High Court for the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. "The expenditure in respect of salaries and allowances of the Judges of the common high court shall be allocated amongst the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh on the basis of population ratio," notes the Act.
Biswas said that there "was no specific demand to constitute a separate bench of a high court in the Ladakh region."
Updated Date: Sep 19, 2019 18:52:52 IST