June 2019 News

Quota Bill For Jammu & Kashmir Expected In Opening Session Of Parliament

8 June 2019
The Economic Times
Rahul Tripathi

New Delhi: A Bill to replace the ordinance to give reservation benefits for education, jobs and promotion to the scheduled castes and tribes, and to the economically weaker sections in Jammu Kashmir is likely to be introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament. The government had issued the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 in February. It is working on the Bill even as the Jammu Kashmir High Court has issued notices to the Centre and state, seeking their replies by July 10 on a petition challenging the ordinance. The legislation, being piloted by the union home ministry, will also have provisions to give the benefits of 3% reservation to those living within 10 kilometres of the International Border in Jammu, at par with people living along the Line of Control in Kashmir, government officials said. This has been a long-pending demand of the people along the International Border, who often come under cross-border firings, an official said. The JK Reservation Amendment Bill, officials said, would benefit more than 36 lakh local residents. A constitutional amendment to give 10% reservation to the economically weaker sections, passed during the NDA-1 government, applies across the country except in JK, because of Article 370 that gives autonomous status to the state. The government then promulgated the ordinance in February to extend this and other benefits to JK as well. Parliament must approve any ordinance within six weeks of its reassembly. In this case, we plan to introduce a Bill replacing the ordinance. If it is not cleared during the House sitting, we will have to seek approval from the President for its (ordinances) re-promulgation, explained a senior official. The Bill will not have any impact on Article 35-A, which provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of JK, the official said.