MHA in advanced stage of devising Rules for Permanent Residents of Ladakh

Talks on with LG, Council CECs, other stakeholders

*Majority favour State Subject like document, not J&K type Domicile

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, June 9: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is in advanced stage of talks with Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Radha Krishna Mathur and other stakeholders of the Union Territory and is expected to come out shortly with Rules defining Permanent Residents of the UT as recruitment process has completely been stalled for last 22 months since Ladakh was separated from Jammu and Kashmir and converted into the UT.
The Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh is also understood to have taken up the issues with the MHA on framing Rules for defining Permanent Residents of the Union Territory for which various options were under considerations. The MHA officials dealing with Ladakh are also in talks with the Lieutenant Governor and other stakeholders including the two Chairmen of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) Leh and Kargil and Apex Body comprising representatives of various organizations.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Union Home Ministry officials have, however, assured stakeholders of Ladakh that the Rules for defining Permanent Residents of Ladakh will be issued shortly to clear decks for recruitment of nearly 7000 vacancies in various Departments. Only yesterday, the Union Territory Administration of Ladakh had issued Subordinate Services Recruitment Rules reserving all posts for Permanent Residents of Ladakh but who will be the Permanent Residents hasn’t been defined as yet.
“After outright rejection of Jammu and Kashmir-like Domicile Law for Ladakh by the Apex Body, the Home Ministry is now working on other options for defining Permanent Residents of Ladakh,” sources said.
There was majority view that only Ladakhis, who were holding State Subjects before bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, should be treated as permanent residents.
Apex Body leader and former two-time Lok Sabha member from Ladakh Thupstan Chhewang said the Jammu and Kashmir-like Domicile Law is not acceptable to Ladakhis as many outsiders putting up in the UT for last 15 years will become domiciles.
“We have 97 percent tribal population. Our demand is clear that State Subject which existed in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir should be the basis for defining Permanent Residents of Ladakh,” Chhewang said, adding the Apex Body is holding its crucial meeting on Monday to discuss the issue in view of delay in framing of Rules by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
LAHDC Kargil Chairman-cum-CEC Feroz Khan said majority view is that State Subject holders should be treated as Permanent Residents of Ladakh as such a document is already possessed by the Ladakhis. There was also a view that Ladakhi-speaking people can be the Permanent Residents.
“Whatever decision has to be taken it should be taken at the earliest as there was desperation among the unemployed youth as no recruitment could be held in the past about two years in the absence of Recruitment Rules as well as Permanent Residents Law,” Khan said.
LAHDC Leh Chairman-cum-CEC Tashi Gyalson said the higher authorities and all other stakeholders are in talks with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in devising formula on Permanent Residents of Ladakh.
“Different types of demands are there. Dialogue is on. Several meetings have also been held. Hopefully, a decision will come shortly. Rather, the decision would have come by now but it has been delayed due to COVID-19 second wave,” Gyalson said.
There was also an opinion among various stakeholders that the Ministry of Home Affairs should give nod to the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh for holding recruitments on the basis of State Subjects till the Rules are framed for defining Permanent Residents of the UT.
The Apex Body is waiting for either an invite or video conference meeting from the Ministry of Home Affairs on the issue for the past quite some time now.
“Earlier, Home Minister Amit Shah was busy in Assembly elections in five States/Union Territories which was followed by second wave of COVID-19. Now when the COVID pandemic has eased, we are confident that the Home Ministry will shortly call us for a meeting on Permanent Residents Law as well as our other pending issues including grant of Six Schedule Status,” one of the members of the Apex Body said.