Cabinet approves revised package for Kashmiri migrants with modifications

Employment package for minorities who didn’t migrate proposed

* Creation of 8 more courts of Mobile Magistrates gets nod


Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, June 20: State Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah at summer capital this afternoon, approved with certain clarifications and modifications the proposal of the Revenue Department for enhancement of incentives for the Kashmiri migrants under the Prime Minister’s Package for their Return and Rehabilitation. Now, the proposal would be forwarded to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for funding. The Cabinet also gave nod to the proposal of the Law Department for creation of eight more courts of Additional Special Mobile Magistrates in order to ensure clearance of huge number of pending cases.
Authoritative sources told EXCELSIOR that following threadbare discussion, the Cabinet gave nod to the majority of points in the proposal, which was prepared by the Revenue Department on the instructions of the Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla. However, the Cabinet carried out certain clarifications and modifications in the proposal.
“While making recommendations to the Government of India, it may be specifically mentioned that the revised package is being recommended subject to the condition that the funds for the same would be entirely borne by the Union Government”, the Cabinet decision read.
Sources said that Cabinet turned down the proposal of the Revenue Department with regard to extending benefit of incentives for construction of house in Group Housing Societies to those families, who have sold land after the coming into force of the J&K Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint of Distress Sale) Act, 1997. “Even in the original package the coverage of such families was not envisaged”, the Cabinet decision said.
“The Cabinet directed the Revenue Department to immediately work out an employment package for Kashmiri minorities, who didn’t migrate, on the same lines as is available to the Kashmiri migrants”, sources informed, adding “this package would form the overall proposal to be submitted to the Government of India for funding”.
Sources said that Cabinet put its seal on enhancing incentive for construction/ renovation of houses from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, raising financial assistance for repair and renovation of dilapidated/ unused houses from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 4 lakh and enhancing incentives of Rs 7.5 lakh for purchase/ construction of house in Group Housing Societies to Rs 20 lakh in favour of those who have sold their properties during the period between 1989 and before the enactment of Distress Sale Act, 1997.
Since the construction of dwelling units at various transit camps has been carried out on increased specifications (from 214 sq feet to 515 sq feet) on the analogy of Jagti tenements, the cost per unit of the transit accommodation has been recommended to be enhanced from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. “The Cabinet also approved continuation of cash relief and free ration to the migrant families of Jammu and Delhi for a period of two years even after their return to the Valley”, sources said.
It has also recommended that funds for all 6000 posts including remaining 3000, for which funds were to be provided by the State Government, should be provided by the Union Government. The Cabinet also approved enhancement of one time financial assistance for restoration of orchards to Rs 15,000 per kanal subject to a ceiling of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10000 per kanal subject to a ceiling of Rs 3 lakh for restoration of agricultural land.
It has also put seal on making recommendation to the Government of India for providing incentive up to 50 per cent of the term loan availed or Rs 10 lakh in case of those industrial units of Kashmiri migrants, which are still under their possession and been rendered sick. The Cabinet also approved enhancement of cash relief from Rs 5000 per month per family to Rs 10,000 per month per family subject to a maximum of Rs 2500 per head per family instead of existing Rs 1500 per head per family.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the exercise for enhanced package of incentives for Kashmiri migrants was started in September 2011 when State Government discussed the proposed revision of the ongoing economic package with the visiting Union Home Secretary.
During the review, the State Government was advised to seek the approval of the Apex Committee and the State Cabinet to the revised proposals before forwarding the same to the Government of India for consideration. Later, the revised proposal was placed before the Apex Committee and the same was endorsed by the latter. The proposal was also discussed by the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on April 18, 2012.
The Cabinet also approved the proposal of the Law and Justice Department for creation of eight more courts of Additional Special Mobile Magistrates. With this, the total number of courts of Special and Additional Special Mobile Magistrates created so far with the specific purpose of ensuring clearance of huge number of pending cases has gone up to 36.
Following formal functioning of all these 36 courts, the State High Court will set target for each court regarding clearance of pending cases as all these courts are being established under the financial assistance given by the 13th Finance Commission to reduce pendency of cases.