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‘New rules for administration of J&K’

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    2nd Sep, 2020

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has notified new rules for administration in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that specify the functions of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) and the Council of Ministers.

Context

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has notified new rules for administration in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that specify the functions of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) and the Council of Ministers.

About

  • There will be 39 departments in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, including agriculture, school education, higher education, horticulture, floriculture, election, general administration, home, mining, power, PWD, transport and tribal affairs.
  • All communications received from the Centre, including those from the prime minister and other ministers, shall be submitted to the-
    • Chief secretary
    • the minister in charge of the matter under consideration
    • the chief minister
    • the lieutenant governor, unless such communication is of a routine or unimportant nature.
  • The LG, on the advice of the chief minister (when elected), shall allot the business of the government among the ministers by assigning one or more departments to a minister.

Background

  • Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated on August 5, 2019 and subsequently, the state was bifurcated into Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The Union territories came into existence on October 31 last year.

Collective responsibility

  • The council (of ministers) shall be collectively responsible for all the executive orders issued by any department in the name of the LG and contracts made in the name of the president in connection with the administration of the Union Territory, whether such orders or contracts are authorised by a minister with respect to a matter pertaining to a department under his charge or as a result of discussions at a meeting of the council.

What in case of a difference?

  • It is clear that in case of a difference of opinion between the LG and the council of ministers (when it is formed) with regard to any matter, the former shall refer it to the Centre for the decision of the president and shall act according to that decision.
  • Where no resolution is found for a month, it is the lieutenant governor’s decision that will be deemed to be final.

Who will have more power? CM or LG?

  • The functions of “police, public order, All India Services and anti-corruption” will fall under the purview of the lieutenant governor.
  • This means that the chief minister or his council of ministers will have no say in the functioning of the services. 
  • Proposals or matters which affect or are likely to affect the peace and tranquility of the UT or the interest of any minority community, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Backward Classes “shall essentially be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor through the Chief Secretary, under intimation to the Chief Minister, before issuing any orders.”
  • On the other hand, the council of ministers headed by the chief minister will decide upon service matters of non-All India Services officers, proposals to impose new taxes, land revenue, sale, grant or lease of government properties, reconstituting departments or offices and draft laws.
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