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Jammu and Kashmir : Structure of the Government

Posted by Admin on October 25, 2014 | Comment

To begin with, Jammu & Kashmir has been receiving special and differential treatment ever since Article 370 came into effect. The fact that J&K was accorded special status under the same Article leaves its governance mainly to the state-specific laws which were framed under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Unlike the other states, not all the provisions of Indian Constitution are applicable to J&K.

Structure of Government in Jammu and Kashmir

Limited Powers of Union Government

Since the state doesn’t come under complete purview of the Central Government, the union legislature has very limited jurisdiction in J&K as compared to other states. According to Article 370, Parliament needs state government’s approval for applying any law except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications.

In fact, Parliament has no power to enact Preventive Detention laws for J&K. The power to legislate such laws is vested only in the state legislature. The state government follows a separate set of laws pertaining to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, which are not in parity with the rest of the country. In the case of Jammu & Kashmir, the Union government doesn’t have the authority to declare Financial Emergency. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of External Aggression.

Government Structure in Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir government follows a multi-party democratic system and has a bicameral legislature with lower house having 89 MLAs and 36 members in the upper house. Out of the 111 seats in the Assembly, 87 are within Indian-administered region.

The Governor is the executive head of the state, appointed by the President of India based on the recommendations by the Central government. However, it is the Chief Minister, who is vested with most of the executive powers. The state has been divided into three distinct administrative divisions – Jammu, Valley of Kashmir, and Ladakh.

When it comes to administration, the J&K government has to take care of the 15 administrative departments including Education, Civil Aviation, Finance and Health. The General Administration Department (GAD) is bestowed with the responsibility of ensuring proper co-ordination of working of different administrative departments. The Vigilance Organisation is another government agency that was brought into existence to check corruption by government officials. It’s headed by the Vigilance Commissioner.

National Conference (NC) and Indian National Congress (INC) are among the main political parties in the state apart from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Currently, NC and INC have the majority in the state legislature with 45 seats between them. The J&K Assembly is the only Assembly in the country to have a 6-year term, unlike the general norm of 5-year term in other state Assemblies.

Jammu & Kashmir Government Bodies

The J&K government ensures the progress and efficiency of projects it undertakes by “systematic collection and analysis of information” through the Chief Minister’s Monitoring Cell. This entity was formed in 2010 to keep a track of the utilisation of state resources and the different developmental activities planned by the government. Only a year before that, the Grievance Redressal Cell was established to create an online platform through which the government can address the concerns of the general public.