Now with Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh becoming Union Territories, a Presidential reference is set to be made to 15th Finance Commission to include the two as part of its terms of reference and make separate awards for the new UTs.
Keeping the special status of J&K in terms of it getting funds from Centre, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which was notified on Tuesday, said: “The President shall make a reference to the 15th Finance Commission to include Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in its terms of reference and make award for the successor Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The Finance Commission’s award would be rolled out from the next financial year, as it will present its report later this year.
Sources in the government said the move was a departure from the established norms in cases of Delhi and Puducherry, which are two other UTs with legislature. They get their share of fund as part of award given to the states, they added.
The Act has also provided for a special development package for the backward areas of Ladakh, while claiming that it recognises the special need for “adequate benefits and incentives” to the new UT carved out of the erstwhile state of J&K.
Officials in the MHA said at present it was difficult to say anything on the modalities of the said package, but there existed a broad hint that the aim was to create jobs and employment and enhance morale of people living in Ladakh.
Meanwhile, the Act has also provided for constitution of a committee to look into matters relating to the “apportionment of the assets and liabilities of the erstwhile state of J&K between the two newly carved out UTs”. “The apportionment of the assets and liabilities of the existing state of J&K shall be subject to the recommendation of a committee constituted by Centre. The process… shall be completed within a period of 12 months from the appointed date,” it said.