There is good news for the State Government employees of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir who are now working in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy, in a written reply to a question regarding development of new UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in Lok Sabha today, informed the House that certain 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) allowances namely Children Education Allowance, Hostel Allowance, Transport Allowance, LTC, Fixed Medical Allowance that were not being given to nearly 4.5 lakh state government employees in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, will now be made available to them.
Such CPC allowances have been approved for an estimated cost of Rs.4800 Crore. The benefit will be available since the day these new Union Territories came into existence i.e 31st October 2019, to all such employees, who are now working in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Further, Reddy stated that after the creation of the two UTs on 31st October, 2019, a total of Rs.14,559.25 crore as the balance share of 14th Finance Commission grants, the share of taxes etc. that were being given to the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir has been apportioned amongst the two new UTs. Out of this, Rs. 2,977.31 crore has already been released to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and Rs.1,275.99 crore has already been released to the UT of Ladakh till date.
On account of article 35A and other constitutional ambiguities, the people of these regions were denied full rights enshrined in the Constitution of India and other benefits of various Central Laws that were being enjoyed by other citizens in the country. After the declaration issued by the President under Article 370, based on recommendation of the Parliament, and reorganization of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh, all such aspects have been addressed and therefore the Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions can develop and progress like other parts of the country.