Central panel, Guv discuss asset distribution

Arteev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, September 19

In the run up to transition from state to Union Territory (UT) status, the three-member high-level panel, constituted by the Centre to look into distribution of assets and liabilities of Jammu and Kashmir between two successor Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh, has begun its exercise.

On the first leg of its visit to J&K, the panel, headed by its chairman and former Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar today and held discussions on the distributions of assets and liabilities between the two UTs, which will come into existence on October 31. On September 9, the Union Home Ministry had issued a notification regarding constitution of an advisory committee under Section 85 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. Other members of the panel included senior retired IAS officer Arun Goyal and retired Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer Giriraj Prasad Gupta.

Sources said the members of the committee held discussions on varied range of important issues, particularly regarding distribution of assets and liabilities between the UTs of J&K and Ladakh, with the Governor and apprised him of their views in this regard. “The panel will work out the modalities while holding discussions with administrative officers and all stakeholders before chalking out a final plan over the distributions of assets,” the sources said, adding, “The apportionment of the assets and liabilities of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir shall be subject to the recommendations of this committee”. According to Section 85 of the Act, the Central government, by an order, can establish one or more advisory committees for apportionment of assets, rights and liabilities of the companies and corporations constituted for the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir between the two UTs.

As per Section 84 of the Act, the assets and liabilities of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir have to be apportioned between the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Governor’s administration has already constituted a high-level committee for apportionment of assets belonging to J&K, but situated outside the state. The four-member panel is headed by the administrative secretary of Housing and Urban Development Department as its chairman. On August 5, the Centre announced the abrogation of the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into the two UTs.

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