As J&K Heads To Prez Rule, Budget Likely Today 

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SRINAGAR — Ahead of the imposition of president’s rule on December 19, the government is likely to announce a budget for next financial year on Saturday.

Sources said that the bill authorising expenditure of government funds has been sent governor for his approval and the budgetary proposals would come into effect with the governor’s assent to the appropriation bill which is likely on December 15

A source said the power to pass the budget bill was vested with the governor till December 19. “After the imposition of the president’s rule, the state would require the approval of the parliament for the same,” they said.

During the president’s rule, all powers of the state legislature are exercised by the parliament.

The budget figure this time would be more than Rs 80000 crore, the official said, adding that it would focus on key development initiatives in different sectors like education, health, roads, and buildings.

“A roadmap recently worked out by the SAC to meet demands of SSA teachers would also be part of the budget,” he said.

When Jammu & Kashmir comes under President’s rule on December 19, it will be for the first time since October 9, 1996, when the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference took over at the end of six years of direct central rule. The state has been under central rule eight times and moved from Governor’s rule to President’s rule (after six months) on two of those occasions. This will be the third time.

Until March 30, 1965, the state did not have a Governor or Chief Minister; it had a Sadre Riyasat (President of the State) and a Prime Minister. In 1953, months before J&K’s Constituent Assembly ratified the state’s accession to the Indian Union, then J&K Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was removed and arrested. In another blow to the state’s autonomy, New Delhi renamed the positions of Sadre Riyasat to Governor and Prime Minister to Chief Minister while Abdullah was in jail and his party was literally running a campaign for self-determination for J&K under the Plebiscite Front banner.

Unlike the Governor, who is the Centre’s nominee, Sadre Riyasat was a constitutional position elected by the J&K legislature and drew his powers from J&K’s own Constitution, signed into law in 1957 by then Sadre Riyasat Dr Karan Singh. Even after the post was abolished, the centrally nominated Governor continued to enjoy powers that his/her counterparts elsewhere did not. Governor’s rule is one of them. In other states, the Centre invokes Article 356 to impose President’s rule; in J&K, under Section 92 of the J&K Constitution, the Governor can rule for six months with a set of powers, the only requirement being the President’s consent.

Governor’s rule was imposed for the first time on March 26, 1977, when the Congress withdrew support to Abdullah, the then Chief Minister. The Congress wanted to move a no-confidence motion but Abdullah recommended dissolution of the Assembly and fresh elections; then Governor L K Jha put the state under Governor’s rule. This lasted for 105 days until Abdullah was reelected.

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