STATE TIMES NEWS New Delhi: The Centre has constituted a three-member committee to look into distribution of assets and liabilities of Jammu and Kashmir between two successor Union territories, which will come into existence on October 31, according to an official notification. While former defence secretary Sanjay Mitra will be the chairman of the committee, retired IAS officer Arun Goyal and retired Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer Giriraj Prasad Gupta will be its members. “…in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 84 and Section 85 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the central government hereby constitutes the advisory committee,” the Home ministry notification said. 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. 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. The apportionment of the assets and liabilities of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir shall be subject to the recommendations of a committee constituted by the central government, it said. 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 Union territories. This is second major initiative towards carving out two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir after the State administration had last week directed all departments to reconcile their accounts up to October 30 and submit these to the Finance Department before November 6. “All the departments shall reconcile accounts of their respective departments before the appointed day with the office of the accountant general, enabling to close the accounts of the state government,” an order issued by Financial Commissioner stated. “On and from the appointed day, the accounts of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir shall be kept in such form as the lieutenant governor may, after obtaining advice of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, prescribe by rules,” it stated.
In terms of Section 67 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, there would be the “Consolidated Fund of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir” successor to the Consolidated Fund of the State of Jammu and Kashmir while setting the guidelines.
“On and from the appointed day (October 31), all revenues received in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir from the Centre or the lieutenant governor in relation to any matter with respect to which the legislative Assembly of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir has power to make laws,” the order reads.
“All grants made and loans advanced to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir from the Consolidated Fund of lndia and all loans raised by the Centre or the lieutenant governor upon the security of the Consolidated Fund of the UT and all money received by the UT in repayment of loans shall form one Consolidated Fund to be entitled the Consolidated Fund of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” it stated.
According to the order, no money out of such Consolidated Fund would be appropriated except in accordance with, and for the purpose and in the manner provided in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
The custody of such Consolidated Fund, the payment of money into such funds, the withdrawal of money therefrom and all other matters connected with or ancillary to those matters would be regulated by rules made by the lieutenant governor, the order elaborated.
Similarly in terms of Section 68 (I) of the Jammu and Kashrnir Reorganisation Act, 2019, there would be the “Public Account of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir” successor to the Public Account of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
“On and from the appointed day, all other public money received by or on behalf of the lieutenant governor shall be credited to a public account entitled the Public Account of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
“The custody of public money, other than those credited to the Consolidated Fund of the UT, or Contingency Fund of the UT, received by or on behalf of lieutenant governor, their payment into the Public Account of the UT and the withdrawal of money from such account and all other matters connected with or ancillary to aforesaid matters shall be regulated made by the lieutenant governor on the advice of council of ministers”, the order stated.
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