Sine Die fallout: Ordinance to make good stalled bills

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Government may have to take the ordinance route to execute important bills that could not be tabled in the legislative assembly this budget session. The government also needs to get two ordinances re-notified that were promulgated by the Governor last year.
The legislative assembly was adjourned sine die after Speaker Kavinder Gupta expunged the remarks of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Article 370. The Opposition created ruckus over the Speaker’s decision and brawls were witnessed in the assembly over two days. The previous Omar Abdullah-led government had also adjourned the assembly sine die after the PDP demanded a discussion on the death of a National Conference worker allegedly in police custody.
If the legislature is not in session, an ordinance is promulgated by the Governor on approval of the state cabinet in matters of emergency. The ordinance is required to get concurrence of the legislature within six months of its promulgation otherwise it has to be re-promulgated for another six months by the Governor.
Sources in the assembly told Kashmir Reader that nearly half a dozen bills and two ordinances have been stalled by the adjournment. “The government had already placed five bills of which four were passed before the assembly was adjourned sine die. Two of the ordinances which need ratification of the assembly could not be ratified. One ordinance was related to Panchayati Raj Act while the other was related to Value Added Tax. I believe if the session is not recalled soon, the Governor will have to issue the notification again,” a source said.
There were five more bills which were supposed to be tabled after February 3. The decision on them was to be taken by the cabinet on January 31, but the meeting was cancelled after the pandemonium over Mufti’s remarks in the assembly.
One of the ordinances promulgated by the governor last year empowers the chief electoral officer of J&K to hold elections to panchayats even in the absence of a state election commission, and to re-organise constituencies, reservations and rotation of wards. The other ordinance, pertaining to the finance ministry in the matter of Value Added Tax Act, is also about to expire.
The bills that could not be tabled this session, sources said, were about amendment in Transfer of Property (Amendment) bill and in Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, which related to the regulating of prices, production and transport, supply, distribution, stock limits, disposal and sale of articles.
Other bills had sought creation of posts in Motor Vehicle Department, revision of taxes being levied under Motor Vehicles Act, and revision of the Fisheries Act which is more than a century old.