Jammu | A senior BJP leader said the Jammu and Kashmir administration was contemplating to simplify the procedure for grant of permanent resident certificates (PRCs) and a timeline should be fixed for its issuance under the Public Services Guarantee Act.
Former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said, “This is a good step if implemented with the clause of getting the system online for the issuance of PRCs on the pattern of birth or death certificates, marriage registration certificates along with other such certificates from the respective district magistrate’s offices, online application for passports.”
He said the documents required for getting the certificate can be uploaded by applicants on the portal in addition to linking of the same with the revenue department and the verification can be done by the department on the pattern of process of issuance of passports.
“PRC issuance can be linked to Aadhaar numbers and fingerprint sensing and registering machines be utilized for the service,” Gupta said, adding “corruption” in issuance of PRCs under the old process would be checked by this new procedure.
Article 35A of the constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define ‘permanent residents’ of the state who are eligible for special rights and privileges, which the legislature can provide.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions seeking abrogation of the legislation, which was added by a presidential order in 1954 through Article 370 of the constitution granting Jammu and Kashmir special status.
The state administration is already facing criticism especially from National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over various recent decisions including the one to covert J&K bank into a Public Sector Undertaking. Any move to bring procedural changes in grant of PRCs is bound to trigger fresh controversy given the sensitivity of the issue.
People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone also expressed resentment against the administration and suggested it to restrict itself to basic governance.
“The governor administration needs to restrict itself to basic governance. No structural changes pertaining to PRC or JK Bank are acceptable. Restrict your energies to what u r mandated to do which incidentally u r not doing. Please don’t invent new problems (sic),” he tweeted.
PDP youth wing president Waheed Para said on Twitter, “Dissolution of Assembly, Revocation of Roshni Act, Amending SHRC, JKB and now fiddling with PRC – one fails to understand the idea behind all this. What’s going on?”.