Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017 received parliamentary approval after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 26 July 2017.
The bill seeks to amend the collection of statistics Bill, 2008 and empower the center to collect statistical data from Jammu and Kashmir.
The collection of statistics Act, 2008 facilitated the collection of statistics related to social, economic, demographic, scientific and environmental aspects by ventral, state and local governments. The act was, however, not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir, given the state’s special status under Article 370. The new bill hence seeks to amend the 2008 act and extend its jurisdiction to cover Jammu & Kashmir for the collection of statistics pertaining to subjects that fall under the Union or the Concurrent list of the Constitution as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir including Citizenship, education, banking, labour and forests.
Read also: Things that prove that Jammu is not Kashmir
The new bill has caused stir among anti-national separatist blocs.
In short, the Act has given more powers to Central Government in the state.
Interestingly, this Act was passed without consulting the J&K state Legislature. Hence it is being tagged as a clever move by the BJP led central government to further dilute the Article 370.
With the application of this Act, the following powers have been given to the Central government now. With power shift away from the State, many opportunistic blocs will be having few sleepless nights over the weekend! These powers are:
1.Deployment: of any force in the aid of the civil power in the state without consulting the State Government.
2.Delimitation: of cantonment areas and local self-government in such areas. Delimitation to give further powers to the cantonment authorities for regulation of house accommodation and control of rents in such areas.
3.Vital statistics: of registration of births and deaths in such areas.
The bill also adds provision for the appointment of a nodal officer by the Union or state government who will coordinate and supervise statistical activities. Which means, any official of the Central Government will now be allowed to enter any household in border of cantonment areas for collecting statistics of any kind. No more would they require permission or assistance of State government.
What the anti-nationals in Kashmir now fear is that with the arrival of “central government officer” in the state, without interference of the State government, public opinion would now sway on “India’s tunes”.
No more will the nation be kept in dark about the ground statistics of the state and true picture will be out for everybody to see.
After introducing GST and now this, we can only wait for the next step to bring J&K closer to India!