Return statehood, spl status to JK: KP migrant body Chief tells Centre

Srinagar: Satish Mahaldar, Chairman Reconciliation ,Return & Rehabilitations of Migrants on Monday demanded return of statehood and special status to Jammu and Kashmir Kashmir, saying that “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”.
In a statement issued on Monday Mahaldar said ” 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”, reminding Prime Minister, Home Minister and parliamentarians that the people of Jammu & Kashmir are their own people, who love them asking them confer special status to Jammu & Kashmir as a good will gesture . Reiterating that “the representatives / parliamentarians are for the people, by the people and they need to understand the aspiration and the wishes of the people”, Mahaldar said ” 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” adding that “it is not that J&K was the only state with special status. Other states too enjoy special category status” adding that “these are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand”. He said 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 and urged the central government to grant a special category status to J&K immediately on the following lines:
• 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 dutyto 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-swappingand debt relief schemes.
6. J&K state with special category status should be exempted from customs duty, corporate tax, income taxand 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.
Reminding that Kashmiri pandits are a cultural and religious minority within the state,Mahaldar said “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”. He said that No one can ignore the demand of statehood and special status to J&K reminding that “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”.
“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 and urged the central government to grant a special category status to J&K immediately”
Reminding the central government that less than before current financial year budget a total sum of ? 30,757 crore has been allocated to J&K, and ?5,958 crore to Ladhak , Mahaldar said “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”. Recalling that for 2018-19 Budget of the erstwhile State of J&K, the Jammu & Kashmir Government received ?47,314 crore revenue from the Centre, Mahaldar said ” 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”. Alleging that the industrial policy has not been formulated for the last one year, Mahaldar alleged that no intuitive has been taken to accelerate the growth of the state, but 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 .

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