MHA to shortly notify Business Rules for newly created UTs

Draft at final stage of examination
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Nov 17: Union Ministry of Home Affairs is going to notify Business Rules for newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh shortly in order to ensure smooth transaction of official business under the new mechanism of governance. During this exercise, some existing provisions are likely to be retained as suggested by the committees of State bureaucrats.
After Parliament’s nod to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act in the first week of August this year whereby Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have come into existence from October 31, 2019, the General Administration Department vide Government Order No.956 dated August 23, 2019 deputed group of officers to different Union Territories of the country for studying the Business Rules and other regulations being followed there.
The group of officers visited Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi, Chandigarh and Puducherry and after detailed examination of Business Rules there furnished reports to the General Administration Department to enable Sub-Committees to submit the draft Business Rules.
Thereafter, the Sub-Committees—one headed by Administrative Secretary, General Administration Department for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and another headed by Administrative Secretary, Ladakh Affairs Department for the Union Territory of Ladakh prepared draft Business Rules in the light of the decisions taken in the meeting held on August 22, 2019 and submitted the same to the Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam.
Before the appointed day for the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, the Draft Business Rules were forwarded to the Department of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs in the Ministry of Home Affairs for examination, approval and notification, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
“Draft Business Rules for UTs of J&K and Ladakh are at the final stage of examination in the Department of J&K and Ladakh Affairs and entire exercise is likely to conclude within next one week following which separate Business Rules for both the Union Territories will be notified by the Ministry”, they informed.
They further said, “while Business Rules of Union Territory of Ladakh have been drafted on the lines of such Rules in vogue in the Union Territories without Legislature, some existing provisions have also been mentioned in the draft Business Rules for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir”.
“The J&K bureaucrats have justified retention of some of the existing Business Rules on various justifiable grounds especially keeping in mind service matters”, they said, adding even clarifications on retention of some of the existing rules sought by the Department of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs have been furnished by the General Administration Department to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
They said, “the MHA will not delay finalization of draft Rules so as to ensure transaction of Government business in smooth manner in both the Union Territories and hopefully within next one week entire exercise will be taken to the logical conclusion with the notification of Business Rules”.
It is pertinent to mention here that Lieutenant Governor of UT of J&K G C Murmu had on October 31, 2019, directed that provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Business Rules which were applicable to erstwhile State shall apply to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for transaction of Government Business subject to modification that any reference to the Governor and Chief Minister shall be construed as reference to Lieutenant Governor.
In the Business Rules of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, it has been mentioned that all orders or instructions made or executed by or on behalf of the Government shall be expressed to be made or executed in the name of the Governor but under new Business Rules the word Governor shall be substituted with Lieutenant Governor formally.
They disclosed that Business Rules act as beacon light for the departments and help them to work without any conflict with each other. “It is under Business Rules that the powers and functions of the departments are clearly defined and specific subjects are assigned”, they added.
The Business Rules also define the procedure to be followed by the Cabinet, Council of Ministers and key departments like Finance, Law and General Administration. These Rules are also amended from time to time to address important administrative issues.