Residency norms for J&K, Ladakh being fixed: MHA

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SRINAGAR — The Government of India is “discussing” with J&K and Ladakh administrations to fix residential norms for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions, Ministry of Home Affairs headed by Amit Shah said on Tuesday.

“In order to fix residential norms for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions, synergized adaptation of various relevant laws of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir; under section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Act, 2019; are being discussed with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Administration of the Union Territory of Ladakh,” Minister of State in MHA, G. Kishan Reddy said.

He was responding to clubbed questions by two parliamentarians—P. Velusamy and K. Shanmuga Sundaram—whether the Government has any proposal to fix residential norms for the people residing in the newly created Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir whereas different States have different norms.

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The MPs also sought to know whether companies and public sector undertakings would be allowed to purchase land irrespective of residential norms to be prescribed for the local population and whether the government would allow exemption to certain categories of people and corporate houses.

There are reports that MHA was examining the option of introducing a mandatory requirement of 15-year residency in government jobs, ownership of land, and seats in professional and college education in J&K. However, as per the reports, this condition may not be applicable for industrial houses to buy land for setting up business ventures and construct quarters for their employees.

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There is a possibility of providing relaxation to Central government employees, who are from other parts of the country but have been living in the two UTs for the last five years or more.

Also, Central officials and their children, and students who are from other States but may have cleared their Class X or Class XII board exams in Jammu and Kashmir or Ladakh may be given residency.

Reports indicated that officers from All-India Services and their children are considered domicile of their respective cadre States usually but a decision has to be taken on whether to extend the benefits to the AGMUT cadre officers who will be now part of the two UTs.

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