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Migrant Kashmiri Pandits demand immediate restoration of Statehood & Special Status to Jammu & Kashmir

New Delhi, July 27, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

The Reconciliation, Relief and Rehabilitation of Migrant Kashmiri Pandits have demanded the immediate restoration of statehood and special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian constitution ensures right to equality that extends to individuals, communities, religions, regions and all social and political institutions. The right to equality does not only ensure non-discrimination on basis of the religion, caste, region or any other social and political sub- categories.

Never before a state has been downgraded. This is not done in a democracy. One can’t have a military solution to a political situation and can’t go to war with their own people.

Honorable prime minister, honorable Home minister, honorable parliamentarians, the people of Jammu & Kashmir are your own people, love them and as a good gesture confer special status to Jammu & Kashmir .

The representatives / parliamentarians are for the people, by the people and they need to understand the aspiration and the wishes of the people.

The special provisions should be to safeguard the interest and aspirations of the backward regions , to protect cultural and economic interests of the people, safeguarding the minorities and to deal with the disturbed law and order in some parts of the state .

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It is not that J&K was the only state with special status. Other states too enjoy special category status. These are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand. A wide range of provisions are available to these 10 states that have been listed under Articles 371, 371-A to 371-H, and 371. Similarly, a special category status should be granted to J&K immediately on the basis of:

· sizeable share of tribal population

· strategic international borders

· Economic and infrastructural backwardness

· Non-viable nature of state finances

· To deal with the disturbed law and order in some parts of j&K state

· discriminated minorities in Kashmir.

· Confer J&K with special category status with following features:

1. The central government should bear 90 percent of the state expenditure on all centrally-sponsored schemes and external aid while the rest 10 percent should be given as loan to the state at zero percent rate of interest.

2. J&L should get Preferential treatment in getting central funds.

3. Concession on excise duty to attract industries to the state.

4. 30 percent of the Centre’s gross budget should be also given to J&K as conferred to other states

5. The state should avail the benefit of debt-swapping and debt relief schemes.

6. J&K state with special category status should be exempted from customs duty, corporate tax, income tax and other taxes to attract investment.

7. J&K state should also have the facility that if they have unspent money in a financial year; it does not lapse and gets carried forward for the next financial year

8 Special status should be conferred to Kashmiri Pandits. Since they are a cultural and religious minority within the state, the special status should be enacted within the provision of the constitution. It is the responsibility of the state and the central government to protect ancient culture and a particular race.

No one can ignore the demand of statehood and special status to J&K. The concept of a special category state was first introduced in 1969 when the 5th Finance Commission sought to provide certain disadvantaged states with preferential treatment in the form of central assistance and tax breaks.

Less than before current financial year budget:

A total sum of ₹ 30,757 crore has been allocated to J&K, and Ladakh gets ₹5,958 crore. The allocation was less than the previous year’s, when J&K was a State and was entitled to devolution in the form of grants and a share of Central taxes.

According to the 2018-19 Budget of the erstwhile State of J&K, it received ₹47,314 crore revenue from the Centre. Around 70% of J&K’s revenue was borne by Central transfers .

Jammu & Kashmir can have a faster growth rate than most other states. However, the poverty and unemployment level is still high here.

Since last one year, the industrial policy has not been formulated, no intuitive has been taken to accelerate the growth of the state. On the contrary on 14th January, 2020, the LG secretariat issued orders to close existing five PSUs, thus putting a brake on the growth engine of the state and rendering thousands jobless .

Satish Mahaldar
Reconciliation, Return & Rehabilitations of Migrants

Online Since 2012

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