Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy, in a written reply to a question regarding development of new UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in Lok Sabha on Tuesday said that the Government of India has been fully committed to the overall development of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the newly created Union Territory of Ladakh.
Reddy informed the House that certain 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) allowances namely Children Education Allowance, Hostel Allowance, Transport Allowance, LTC, Fixed Medical Allowance that were not being given to nearly 4.5 Lakh State Government employees in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir have been approved for an estimated cost of Rs.4800 Crores, for all such employees, who are now working in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, since the day these new Union Territories came into existence i.e 31st October 2019. Since the newly created UTs have come into existence, all the 7th CPC pay and allowances will be available to all the Government employees of both the new UTs.
Further, Reddy stated that after the creation of the two UTs on October 31, a total of Rs.14,559.25 crores as the balance share of 14th Finance Commission grants, share of taxes etc. that were being given to the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir has been apportioned amongst the two new UTs. Out of this, Rs. 2,977.31 crores has already been released to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and Rs.1,275.99 crores has already been released to the UT of Ladakh till date.
On account of article 35A and other constitutional ambiguities, the people of these regions were denied full rights enshrined in the Constitution of India and other benefits of various Central Laws that were being enjoyed by other citizens in the country. After the declaration issued by the President under Article 370, based on recommendation of the Parliament, and reorganization of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh, all such aspects have been addressed and therefore the Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions can develop and progress like other parts of the country.
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, the Government has approved establishment of eight medical colleges in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. These medical colleges, which are under various stages of implementation, will come up in the districts of Doda, Kathua, Baramulla, Anantnag, Rajouri, Udhampur, Handwara (Dist. Kupwara) in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and the district of Leh in the UT of Ladakh. The Government has also approved creation of two AIIMS like institutions in Jammu and Srinagar, the Minister informed.