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Vyas staying or leaving?

Mudassir Kuloo

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SRINAGAR, August 9: Seven weeks after being elevated as Advisor to the Governor, B B Vyas may resign to join the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council.
Vyas, former Chief Secretary, was appointed Advisor on June 20, three days after the fall of PDP-BJP alliance in the state.
A source in New Delhi said that Vyas has been conveyed that Centre wants him to join the GST Council.
“He may put down his papers as Advisor to Governor very soon before joining the GST Council,” the source said.
Another source close to Vyas said he was being preferred for the council due to his “expertise” in handling the financial matters.
“The final decision over his inclusion in the GST council is yet to be taken,” the source said.
Vyas’ public outreach programme scheduled to be held under the aegis of JK Governor’s Grievance Cell on Friday in Jammu has also been cancelled.
Amidst speculations that New Delhi may appoint him as JK Governor, the source said that Vyas was “too junior” for the position.
Vyas was appointed Chief Secretary in April 2017 by the then-Mehbooba Mufti-led government in place of BR Sharma.
Vyas, an IAS officer of 1986 JK batch, has held important positions in his career spanning three decades.
He has served as deputy commissioner for Srinagar and Udhampur districts, divisional commissioner Kashmir, principal secretary finance, and financial commissioner planning.
Before appointed as Advisor to Governor, Vyas was appointed Chief Secretary in April 2017 the then Mehbooba Mufti led government. He had replaced BR Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS officer, who was appointed chief secretary in 2015 after his predecessor Muhammad Iqbal Khandey sought voluntary retirement from service amid growing differences with the government.
Vyas, an IAS officer of 1986 JK batch in his three decade career has held important positions including deputy commissioner Srinagar, DC Udhampur, divisional commissioner Kashmir, principal secretary Finance and financial commissioner, planning and chief minister.
During the PDP-BJP government, he was given three extensions. Vyas, who was due to superannuate in November 2017, was given two extensions of three months each till May 2018 to remain the chief secretary. Later he was given one year extension beyond May 31, 2018. The Personnel Ministry had approved a request from the state government for his extension. The move came days after the Centre amended a rule to provide a longer tenure to the chief secretary. But the total term of the state chief secretary shall not exceed three years or up to the age of 62, the government had said.


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Satya Pal Malik is JK’s new Governor

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Srinagar, Aug 21: The president of India on Tuesday appointed Bihar governor and BJP’s former national vice-president, Satya Pal Malik, as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
President Ram Nath Kovind okayed a string of appointments and transfers.
The Centre had given an extension to NN Vohra as J&K Governor till August 26 keeping in mind the Amarnath Yatra after the state government was dissolved in June. The state has been under Governor’s Rule ever since BJP pulled out of its coalition with the PDP on June 20, soon after which Mehbooba Mufti quit as the chief minister.
Malik, 72, has previously served as the union minister of state, parliamentary affairs and tourism and has held many important positions in central and state governments.
He was also a Rajya Sabha MP for two terms and a Lok Sabha MP from 1989 to 1990. Malik was also a Member of Uttar Pradesh Assembly from 1974 to 1977. In his political career, he has also been the chairman and member of many parliamentary committees.
He completed his B.Sc and LLB from Meerut University and holds a Diploma in Parliamentary Affairs from Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies run by Parliament of India.
Apart from the appointment of Malik, the Centre has appointed BJP veteran and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s close aide Lal Ji Tandon as Governor of Bihar and Satyadev Narayan Arya as the Governor of Haryana.
Tathagata Roy, who was the Governor of Tripura has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Meghalaya while Kaptan Singh Solanki, who was Governor of Haryana has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Tripura. Baby Rani Maurya has been made the Governor of Uttarakhand.

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Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of sacrifice, today

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Srinagar, Aug 21: Eid-ul-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, would be observed across Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.
Huge congregational Eid prayer gatherings are expected at Srinagar’s Eidgah in Downtown and Dargah Hazratbal, apart from other Eidgahs, Masjids and Shrines where Islamic scholars shall throw light on the significance of Eid-ul-Adha.
A spokesman of Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid Nowhatta said the congregational Eid-ul-Adha prayers would be offered at Eidgah in Downtown at 9 am. In a statement, the spokesman said Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will deliver the Eid sermon, highlighting the significance of Qurbani and Eid-ul-Adha, from 8 am onwards.
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of the Islamic calendar’s last month Dhu’l-Hijjah and on this day, a Muslim offers a goat or sheep as a sacrificial animal while the sacrifice of one camel and a calf suffices for the vow of seven Muslims.
Allah ordered Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS). When the blindfolded father moved the blade on his son’s throat to carry out the divine command, an animal from heaven replaced Ismail.
It is to celebrate the absolute submission of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to Allah’s command and the saving of Ismail’s life that Muslims offer animal sacrifices on Eid-ul-Azha.
The big congregational Eid prayers are also expected at Khadi Mill Alochi Bagh here.
As per the Islamic teachings, the Muslims across the State will start performing the act of sacrificing animals following the congregational Eid prayers as this Eid is being observed to commemorate Prophet Ibraham’s (AS) willingness to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismaeel (AS).
Meanwhile, markets in Kashmir valley, particularly in the summer capital, wore a festive look on Tuesday as residents went on a shopping spree, including for sacrificial animals, to prepare for Eid-ul-Azha.
The Consumer Affairs Department fixed a ceiling of Rs 210 per kilogram of live animal but the rate list was being observed in breach, indicating a higher demand for the animals this year.
“The rate list issued by the government departments exists only on paper as the animals are sold at the rate of Rs 240 to Rs 260 per kilogram,” Mohammad Ishaq, a city resident, said.
A mutton dealer has brought in camels from Rajasthan to be sacrificed this Eid. While few people showed interest in buying these animals, a large crowd gathered at places where these are put on sale.
Some animals are fetching the mutton dealers three to four times the actual value.
“We are selling the live animals at Rs 220 per kg but there are some sheep and goats which have higher price. The customers are willing to pay more for animals which look beautiful,” Mohammad Ayoub, a mutton dealer, said.
Elsewhere, bakeries, confectioneries and ready-made garment showrooms witnessed heavy footfall over the past few days as people made purchases for Eid.
However, the business community claimed that the sales were not as good as they had expected.
We have had a tough decade with agitations claiming three seasons in 2008, 2010 and 2016. Then we had 2014 floods which have badly affected the financial condition of the people,” Sajad Ahmad, a shopkeeper, said.
He said extension of GST to Jammu and Kashmir preceded by demonetisation in 2016 also had adverse effect on business in Kashmir.

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Observe Eid with austerity, Mirwaiz tells people

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Srinagar, Aug 21: Mutahida Majlise Ulema patron and All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq extended his warm greetings to the entire Muslim Ummah including the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir, on the auspicious occasion of Eid ul Azha.
In a statement issued here, Mirwaiz in his Eid message said the occasion of Eid ul has a significance as there is a great history behind sacrificing animals as the act reminds the people of the courage and patience shown by the Prophet Ibraheem( AS) and Ismaeel(AS)
Mirwaiz said in J&K, Eid ul Azha has come at a time when there is an all-out assault our identity and citizenship rights as anti-Kashmir forces are trying their level best to change the majority character and disputed nature of the State.
Mirwaiz said people of J&K irrespective of cast creed, region must take a pledge to protect State Subject Law and to remain rock solid to foil all bids aimed at changing the demography of the State. On this auspicious occasion, people of state must vow to take the ongoing freedom struggle toward.
Mirwaiz urged all sections of society to refrain from extravaganza and to observe Eid with austerity. He appealed well to do people to help poor and destitute and also the victims of Delhi’s aggression in Kashmir so that they too can celebrate Eid.
The Mirwaiz also hailed the courage and resilience of Kashmiri political prisoners who are languishing in various jails in and outside the State.

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