One year of revocation of Article 370 in J&K: 300 of 444 Netas released; 164 state laws repealed

Close on the heels of the release of political prisoners, the Centre amended provisions of J&K State Legislature Members' Pension Act, 1984, enhanced pension for MLAs to Rs 75,000 though entitlement of rent-free accommodation, expenditure for home...

Agencies
NEW DELHI: Since revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, the state administration invoked Public Safety Act (PSA) against 444 persons out of which nearly 300 have been released so far. While 51 of them were set free on the orders of J&K high court, others were freed after administrative reviews, with the conditions that they will not issue any (political) statements, official sources said.

Meanwhile, on Friday, PSA on former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was extended for 3 months. The J&K Public Safety Act, enacted in 1978, has been the principal Act used by the Police to detain political leaders, separatists and stone-pelters.

Close on the heels of the release of political prisoners, the Centre amended provisions of J&K State Legislature Members' Pension Act, 1984, enhanced pension for MLAs to Rs 75,000 though entitlement of rent-free accommodation, expenditure for home furnishing, free telephone calls, free electricity, car, petrol, medical facilities, driver and personal assistant for ex-CMs were withdrawn.


According to home ministry, the domicile rules introduced early this year helped “discriminated categories like West Pakistan Refugees (WPR), gurkhas, safai karamcharies and women married outside” to become eligible to apply for jobs and scholarship. Union home minister Amit Shah during his speech at Parliament on August 5 last year assured the house that the J&K will be declared a State once the situation improves.

Elaborating on the yearlong developments in the state administration, a central government official said, “Structural reforms have been carried out in departments of Industries, Tourism, Finance and Technical education. Sub departments with overlapping functions have been merged or downsized. In the Finance and Planning department, this has stopped duality of funding sources, which has resulted in financial discipline and control over expenditure.”

Among the major reforms in the states are: 354 State laws existed in J&K out of which 164 state laws were repealed, 138 laws modified while 170 more central laws made applicable. There has been a 262%increase in minority scholarships. Also, five corporations have been set up to unbundle power department Corporations. And, Rs 1000 crores of Govt. funds parked outside located and channelled back into the consolidated fund.
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