By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, Sep 10 (IANS) The Central government on Tuesday announced the formatrion of a three-member advisory committee to supervise the division of assets between the two newly-formed Union Territories (UTs) of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, which will formally come into existence on October 31, 2019.
A notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the three-member advisory committee will include former Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, former IAS officer Arun Goyal and Giriraj Prasad, a former Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer.
The division of assets between the two UTs coming into existence on October 31, coinciding with the birth anniversary of the country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, involves an elaborate financial and administrative exercise.
A top bureaucrat here said: “The major administrative decision will involve the allotment of civil servants drawn out of the various existing services of the state for the Ladakh UT. Every department of the state government will have to be considered while allotting officers to the UT of Ladakh. There are lesser number of officers belonging to that region who are presently serving the state government.
“It is, therefore, unlikely that the serving officers belonging to state and central services in the Valley and the Jammu region would voluntarily opt to be part of the Ladakh UT service.
“To address this problem, officers of the state would be sent on a three-year deputation to the Ladakh UT. They would be drawn from among the presently serving central and state government officers in the state. As the Ladakh UT cadre will start developing gradually, the practice of deputation can be called off at a later stage.”
The official said that division of assets will involve proportionate division of arms and ammunition for the police force, division of vehicles, infrastructure and other resources.
“Similarly, division of assets of all the other state departments such as revenue, finance, power development, healthcare, education, social welfare, rural development, public works and tourism will take place proportionate to the population and other determining parameters of the newly carved out UTs.
“Legally, the exercise has to be in place before the UTs come into existence. The exercise has already started and once the advisory committee sits to take the final call, the division of assets will become formal,” the bureaucrat said.
Interestingly, even before the announcement to make Ladakh a UT, the state administration headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik had announced the creation of a separate division for the Ladakh region on the pattern of the Valley and the Jammu divisions.