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A bill seeking to “remove a legislative vacuum” on collection of statistical data in Jammu and Kashmir was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday. According to the bill introduced by Statistics and Programme and Implementation Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, the amendment will strengthen data collection mechanism in the state.

It will also provide for extending the jurisdiction of the Act to Jammu and Kashmir in respect of matters not reserved for the state as per the Constitution Order, 1954. The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, demographics, social, scientific and environmental aspects. The Act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir legislature had enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole state and is almost a replica of the central legislation. The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, and the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, are not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to the Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution Order, 1954. This had created a legislative vacuum. Moreover, the concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir has also not been provided for. The amendment is intended to address this vacuum. The measure also envisages the appointment of a nodal officer at the Centre and in each state and Union Territories to effectively coordinate data collection activities and provide consultation to government departments for avoiding unnecessary duplication. PTI