Union Home Minister Amit Shah will table the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday. On February 28, the Union Cabinet had approved The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 and it was cleared by President Ram Nath Kovind. This will be Shah's first legislative business in Parliament after taking charge of the Union Home Ministry. will also speak in the House about its importance. The Bill aims to give reservation benefits for education, jobs and promotion to the scheduled castes and tribes, and to the economically weaker sections in Jammu and Kashmir. The J&K Reservation Amendment Bill, officials said, would benefit more than 36 lakh local residents.
What is in the Bill?
The Bill will have provisions to give the benefits of 3% reservation to those living within 10 kilometres of the International Border in Jammu, on a par with people living along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
The bill is aimed at replacing the ordinance to provide 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections in Jammu and Kashmir.
This would pave the way for reserving state government jobs to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir who are from economically weaker sections belonging to any religion or caste.
The 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections was introduced through the 103rd Constitution Amendment in January 2019, however, it didn’t apply to Jammu and Kashmir 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 J&K as well.
Passage of Ordinance
Parliament must approve any ordinance within six weeks of its reassembly. If it is not cleared during the House sitting, President’s approval has to be sought for its (ordinance’s) re-promulgation,” explained a senior official.
In his election campaign, Amit Shah had vowed to scrap Article 370 of the constitution that allows Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution, flag and the right to handle its own laws except on matters that impact national security.
The Bill will not have any impact on Article 35-A, which provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of the state. Article 35A defines permanent residents of the state and excludes outsiders from owning property and getting benefits including government jobs.