Common man of J&K has started seeing a ‘popular people government’ in Governor rule

21 Feb 2016 21:08:00

It is time for Mr. Vohra to apply Corrections

Daya Sagar (Eminant Journalist and a social worker)

After 8th January there is no ‘popular’ government in J&K.  Section-92 of J&K Constitution was invoked and Governor’s rule was imposed in J&K wef 8th January 2016 under the Proclamation P-1/16 of 2016 of January 9th.Political parties like BJP and PDP may be interested in getting installed an elected government immediately, parties like Congress, NC and J&KNPP may be interested in fresh elections to the legislative assembly but there are also some  indicators  that the  common man of J&K this day has started  seeing a ‘popular people government’ in Governor rule. The roads are almost free of sirens and the security guards waiving red flags & pushing the common man off the roads. There are very few ‘kings’ in Governor rule and hence may be it is time for the Governor’s administration to do some thing for the ‘common man’. Parties like PDP and BJP had made some promises with the people during the November/ December 2014 elections, they had also included some welfare notes in their agenda of alliance in March 2015, but they have  instead  nursed more of controversies worth keeping peace & stability at distance.

There are a number of classes of people like Displaced persons from Pakistan Occupied areas of J&K ( POJK DPs), 1947 Refugees from West Pakistan, 1965-1971  Chamb Refugees, 1990 Migrants  from Doda / Udhampur/ Rajouri areas, 1990 Kashmir Valley Migrants and above all the under-employed & unemployed youth even from amongst the ‘privileged’ class of “permanent residents of J&K”. The issues of these people have all these years   been used more to keep the people of Jammu region away from the people of Kashmir region , distancing the regional aspirations  and  used by some for drawing  lines amongst the people of J&K  even in the name of religion instead of attending to  their problems. Even after Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government took oath on 1st March last year excuses  have been made  in the name of  international compulsions before Government of India , political & administrative technicalities, economic backwardness of state, lesser industrial avenues available and disturbed conditions in the state to cover the failures as regards the real common man related issues in J&K.  To quote some,though not adequately reasonable and  equivalent to the losses and damages suffered by the POJK DPs, announcement  of a INR 2000 Cr package for the POJK DPs has been made through the media after 68 years but for that also so far neither GOI nor J&K  government have  made public the criteria on what the monetary compensation / grant  has to be paid to POJK DPs who are so helplessly waiting  for last nearly 7 decades to know about the status of the pending claims of the properties / assets left behind in the areas of indian State of J&K as were occupied  by Pakistan in 1947.

No doubt as regards the 1947 West Pakistan Refugees there are some issues linked with provisions as laid down in the J&K Constitution like  the status of indian citizens defined as ‘permanent residents of J&K ‘ ( Section-6 ) and related provisions regarding  voting for ( Section-140) and entering J&K Legislature ( Section-51) ,  carrying on with pre 1947 laws & acts ( Section-127, Section-157-2& 157-3) but it can not be overlooked that in J&K Constitution there are  Sections 8 & 9  that allow  for corrective / reformative measures  that  can be & should be judiciously attended only by elected legislature  with 2/3rd  majority of  the total membership. The political leadership  can take refuse under the condition that for amendment of J&K Constitution 2/3rd  majority of total membership is required and not that of the members those  present on the day and voting .  But there are also some common man issues pertaining to 1947 Refugees from West Pakistan, Safaikaramcharies who had come to J&K in 1950s on the request of the then PM Bakshi Ghulam Mohd and the like  that could have been settled and corrected by the government even by simple executive orders but the same have been left agitating by  the politicians  just to  keep the people of Kashmir Valley away from the people of Jammu  and Ladakh regions since  all these years the governance in J&K as well as the attention of Government of India has remained more  valley centric . Now the Governor Administration has  the opportunity for applying corrections since under proclamation P-1/16 of 201 6 of 9th January Sh N. N. Vohra , Governor J&K , in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 92 of the State Constitution and of all other powers enabling him  in that behalf,  with the concurrence of the President of India,  has assumed to his self  all the functions of the Government of the State and all powers vested in or exercisable by anybody or authority (other than the powers vested in or exercisable by the High Court) in the State. Governor  can apply administrative, executive and even legislative corrections to the issues like what have been mentioned here in, there by, putting some seals on the unfair intentions of the politicians. This  will also make the  path for return of peace & stability to J&K  smoother since politicians will be left with lesser issues to exploit people of J&K in the name of religion and region

  There are common man issues like  (i) opening out  entry into all classes of state services for the ‘safaikaaramcharies’ (Jammu  Balmiki community) who were brought from Punjab by the then Prime minister Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed in 1950s; (ii) opening out admissions in the state government services and state government run professional colleges  for 1947  refugees  from West Pakistan ( W Pak Refugees) many of whom are even cultivating  agricultural lands in J&K occupied and possessed by them as per State Government  Notification No.578-C   0/5   1954 dated  7.5.1954  (based on  State Cabinet’s Order No. 9578-C of 1954); (iii)  need to review SRO 202  date 30-06-2015 issued on the advice of  Mufti Mohd Sayeed lead PDP-BJP Government by order of Governor J&K in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to section 124 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir   making  Jammu and Kashmir Special Recruitment Rules, 2015 where under during the period of first five years, the appointee shall be entitled to the minimum of scale of pay along with the grade pay applicable to the post against which he/she is appointed  but without any entitlement to annual increments, Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance and City Compensatory Allowance.  Earlier also Omar Abdullah lead NC-Cong government had   added an unfair chapter by issuing order No 257 F of 2011 on 27 Oct 2011  laying down Modalities for ‘fixed salary mode of Recruitment’ in Non-Gazetted categories , based on  recommendations of Standing Committee constituted vide G.O. No. 319-GAD of 2011 dated 10.03.2011 to examine modalities for proposed future recruitment in a fixed salary mode against class-IV, III and other Non gazette posts. Under the said policy employees recruited against regular graded posts  were  paid fixed total emoluments  of  about 20 to 25 % of the due wages and allowances  for first  two years  and for next three years about 30 to 35 % only. The Omar Abdullah  cabinet had on 21 May 2014  approved the scrapping of the much-criticized ‘new recruitment policy’  under pressure of forthcoming Nov/ Dec 2014 elections. But after 2014 assembly elections Mufti Mohd Sayeed lead BJP-PDP  cabinet on 19th April 2015  again approved  proposals of another  policy  ( some what similar to what NC- Congress Government had first enforced in Oct 2011 and then withdrawn in 2014 not out of some  truthful intentions but merely out of  lust for  tapping  a vote bank in view of Nov/ Dec 2014 J&K Assembly elections )  that also aimed at  exploiting the needs of unemployed youth  but then Governor  NN  Vohra  was reported to have returned  the ‘ Jammu and Kashmir Special  recruitment Ordinance­2015 on the new recruitment policy’ for review.   Any how  the Governor had to accept the  proposals when sent again with some minor changes by State Cabinet  and hence  PDP-BJP Government  got SRO 202  date 30-06-2015 issued   in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to Section 124 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir   making  ‘Jammu and Kashmir Special Recruitment Rules,2015’ where under during the period of first five years, the appointee shall not be  entitled to receive  annual increments, Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance and City Compensatory Allowance  and hence the said order was no less inhuman as was the case with Omar Abdullah NC Congress Government “new recruitment policy” for non gazetted employees  order of October 2011.  PDP Government had taken the action since it was  still over 5 years to go before next elections ; and (iv) welljustified demands for special  reservations in jobs  for the 1947 POJK DPs ( displaced persons from areas occupied by Pakistan in 1947) . Governors administration  should not have any problem in taking notice on  such like issues and ordering corrections. People have started seeing signs of ‘popular peoples’ government in Governor administration that is backed by advisors like Parvez Dewan and KhursheedAhmed  Ganai who have always been known for their unbiased able service tenures

Responding to a query made by  BJP  MLA, Sat Paul Sharma, the then Minister for  Finance , Labour and Employment  and Culture , Dr Haseeb Drabu in a written reply informed the  Legislative Assembly (LA)  on 31st March 2015 that during 2013-14 and 2014-15 around 4.67 Lakh unemployed youth including 1154   doctors, 24,611 engineers and  22,706 postgraduates registered with employment exchanges. This way the total unemployed youth may not be less than 7 to 8 Lakh. Not only that number , there may be many under-employed exploited educated youth in J&K like not only those employed in private sector at meager wages of Rs.3000 to 4000 pm but also in the government like R-e-t ( education), R-e-Z ( agriculture) , DWs in PDD/PHE and the like. Their need and ‘hunger’ has always been exploited by those who held the reins of ‘popular’ elected governments by trumpeting ambitious employment programmes but have been instead  given  inhuman policies like as was done by Omar Abdullah lead NC-Cong government by  issuing order No 257 F of 2011 on 27 Oct 2011  laying down ‘Modalities’ for fixed salary mode of Recruitment in Non-Gazetted categories for  future recruitment in a fixed salary mode against class-IV, III / other Non gazetted posts ( though withdrawn by Omar Abdullah Government in 2014 in view of sensing some fears in 2014 November / December    J&K Legislative Assembly elections )  and  was again done  through SRO 202  date 30-06-2015 issued by order of the Governor J&K  in exercise of powers conferred by Section-124 of J&K Constitution on the advice of  Mohd Sayeed lead PDP-BJP Government thereby  making  Jammu and Kashmir Special Recruitment Rules, 2015 where under during the period of first five years, the appointee ( all non gazetted posts and some nominated gazetted posts) shall be entitled to the wages equivalent to minimum of the scale of pay along with the grade pay applicable to the post against which he/she is appointed  but without any entitlement to annual increments, Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance and City Compensatory Allowance for first five years. In case government exploits the unemployed needy youth like this i.e by denying DA, CCA, HRA, annual increments  etc that account for about 150% of the basic grade pay at today’s (2016) norms  for 5 years such policies are surely opening more narrow door for the private employers worth freezing the wages they offer to needy qualified youth. Imagine under the new wage policy 2015 a government employee who will be now appointed  in the pay scale of say 9300 -34800 with grade pay 3400  will get just Rs. 12700/pm   for five years as against otherwise  due to him of around Rs.31500 /pm at the present norms / scale of allowances like DA (119%),CCA,HRA.   

Section – 124 ( Recruitment and conditions of service of persons serving the State ) of J&K Constitution lays down that subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Legislature may by law regulate the recruitment, and conditions of service of persons appointed, to public services and posts in connection  with the affairs of the State: Provided that it shall be competent for the Governor, or such person as he may direct, to make rules regulating the recruitment, and the conditions of service of person appointed, to such services and posts until provision, in that behalf is made by or under an Act of the Legislature under this section and any rules so made shall have effect subject to the provisions of any such Act. The contents of Section-124 of J&K Constitution  very clearly express that the Recruitment and conditions of service of persons serving the State have to be dealt with in a very considerate, judicious and serious manner  where aswhat ever the governments have been doing so far after 2008 as regards  revising the conditions for appointment and service of the government servants as regards the recruitments, regularisation, wages, pension and retirement age had been more based on the whims of individuals and vote bank politics  thereby by proving  more damaging to the ultimate interests of both the new recruits as well as the state exchequer.

Governor N. N. Vohra has no political or/and personal  stakes, as well as, he has a very committed  team of advisors in MrParvez Dewan and MrKhursheed Ahmed Ganai  to support him. Now it is fair time and opportunity with State Administrative Council, comprising Governor as its Chairman and his Advisors as Members  with the   Chief Secretary B R Sharma there as  Secretary to the Council to apply corrections by undoing the  faulty policies  like SRO 202  date 30-06-2015 ( Jammu and Kashmir Special Recruitment Rules, 2015  )  issued in 2015 by order of the Governor but that was on the advice of  the then Mohd Sayeed lead PDP-BJP Government  denying the new appointees for the  first five years the right to  annual increments, dearness allowance (DA), house rent allowance (HRA) , city compensatory allowance (CCA). And the like allowances.

Otherwise also there is a must need and scope for the civil society as well as the ‘Saviors’  of Justice to take notice of such unjustified policies where in a person employed earlier on the same job doing the same work is paid nearly 2.5 times what the new employee is paid, is not this a  violation the basic principles underlying the directive principles of State policy as enshrined in Section-13, Section- 19(a) and Section 22(a) of J&K Constitution ; and the fundamental rights granted to permanent residents of J&K under Section-10 ?,

Not only that even the government policy for denying superannuation pension to those employed in J&K Government service after 2009 too needs to be reviewed since this policy is both against the interests of the State as well as the people. Government employee unions have not agitated against ‘no pension’ policy for those employed from 01012010 onwards  because the control of unions is with those who are employed before 2010 and they will get pension. Imagine  a government employee who retired in mid 1990s may be in 2016 getting pension equal to say 2.5 times the total salary he /she  was getting then, can the contributory provident fund scheme match such pensionary provision?, no not at all. Such policies should have been debated in legislature but that was not done. The unemployed job seekers have no alternative than to accept such exploitations  but Governor administration can review this as well and apply corrections through Governors ordinance / proclamation, let the new popular government attempt to undo it but then it will have to be done after debating in legislature.

( Daya Sagar is a senior journalist and Social activist [email protected])

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