Domicile law for J&K coming very soon, says Jitendra Singh

Kusum Tewari

In a bid to address the concerns of the local populace after the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution last year, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday assured the people of the Union Territory that a domicile law would be coming “very soon”, following which the Land Act would also be implemented.

He also announced that more than the promised jobs would be provided to the youth after the notification of the rules is worked out.

“The Domicile Act is coming very soon, which will be immediately followed by the Land Act,” the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Explained | State, Union Territory, and Union Territory with a Legislative Assembly

Multiple parties have been demanding the enactment of a domicile law for Jammu and Kashmir to protect the interests of the landowners and the unemployed youth, after the erstwhile State lost its special status following the nullification of Article 370 by the Centre, he said.

Mr. Singh was addressing a function here after the signing of a major scientific collaboration agreement between CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, and IndusScan, a Canadian pharmaceutical company.

Calling the signing of the MoU a “historic moment”, the Minister said Jammu and Kashmir’s journey to becoming a part of India’s $5 trillion global economy has started from within the four walls of the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine.

“…Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been saying again and again that we should have the same kind of focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as we did for the northeast, which has seen major transformation over the last five years. Those who have doubts about it will see all this happening in a short while,” he said.

The Minister said this is possible because the “earlier embargoes have been removed” and the Union Territory is directly reporting to the Centre.

“Many of the politicians have become unemployed…I heard one of them raising the issue of jobs to the local youth yesterday. I want to tell that more than the promised jobs will be advertised, but as per the rules and in an impartial manner. We are waiting for a notification of the rules to come out,” he said.

Alleging brazen disregard for the concerns of the educated unemployed and under-employed youth by the incumbent government, National Panthers Party chairman and former Minister Harsh Dev Singh had said not a single post, out of the promised 50,000 jobs, had been advertised for the filling up of vacancies in the new Union Territory after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.

“Everything will be done. It will not be like when your government was in power and ruined the future of the youths by backdoor appointments and corrupt practices. The youth who were provided jobs have turned 35 years, but are still waiting for their regularisation,” the Union Minister said.

He said jobs would be provided under rules, which would be in the best interest of the youth and those who have been deprived of it.

Asserting that India is going through “one of the best phases under the leadership of Modi”, he said a lot of development had taken place over the last five years and the country is looking forward to becoming a part of the global economy.

“On the one hand, India is eyeing $5 trillion economy. Don’t you want Jammu and Kashmir to also be a part of that. It is possible only if our youth can reach a stage that allows them to live up to the parameters that are followed globally. Therefore, even if some of us have doubts or are confused, skeptical or still unconvinced, ask yourselves, don’t you want your children to be part of the $5 trillion economy. If you understand this, I think all the murmuring and whispering that has been generated from thoughtless minds will vanish,” Mr. Singh said.

The Minister said Jammu and Kashmir is also under the process of a new industrial policy and a new scientific policy.

“The greatest disadvantage that has happened from Jammu and Kashmir remaining in isolation because of Article 370 is that we have become lazy and lethargic. We have learnt to live on easy freebies,” he said.

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