The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved an amendment to extend reservations currently given to people living near the Line of Control to those who live in close proximity of the International Border.

This was done through the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

Jaitley said the reason for extending the quota to people living near the International Border was that these citizens live a life nearly as disturbed as those who live in the vicinity of the Line of Control. He said the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, provided quotas only to those living near the Line of Control.

The government also decided to extend 10% reservation for economically weaker sections in education and government jobs to people of Jammu and Kashmir. The amendment will also provide benefit in promotions to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, an official press release said.

The order amends the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, the government said. The new provisions are proposed in addition to the existing reservations permitted in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Provisions with regard to reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes, which were introduced under the 97th Amendment to the Constitution in 1993, had not been made applicable to the state,” Jaitley said. “With the consent of the Governor [Satya Pal Malik] the same has been made applicable by amending the 1954 Constitutional order.”

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution grants autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article stipulates that all laws passed by the Centre have to be approved by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.