Centre approves Rs 5.5 lakh relief for left out PoK refugees

5300 displaced families to benefit

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Oct 9: In major bonanza for left out Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) refugees, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved a one-time payment of Rs 5.5 lakh as a resettlement package for the 5,300 displaced families which had come from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after partition and initially settled outside Jammu and Kashmir but later relocated to the State.
A “historical wrong” has been corrected by the Government, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said while briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the resettlement package for those PoK families who had settled in Jammu and Kashmir after partition on separate occasions.
The families which had come from PoK but had settled outside Jammu and Kashmir were left out of the package, Javadekar said.
These families had later resettled in Jammu and Kashmir.
Now 5,300 such families have been included in the resettlement package, he said.
Reacting to the Government announcement, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh, who had been pursuing the package for left out PoK refugees with the Government, extended thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the decision.
“Thanks PM @narendramodi for another major breakthrough for Jammu and Kashmir. Union Cabinet approves inclusion of 5300 displaced families of J&K-1947 which initially moved outside Jammu and Kashmir but later returned & settled in the State, in Rehabilitation Package 30.11.2016 for displaced people from PoJK and Chhamb,” Dr Jitendra Singh tweeted.
“The approval will enable such displaced families to become eligible to get one-time financial assistance of Rs 5.5 lakh under the existing scheme, and in turn, be able to get some sustained income which the existing scheme is aimed at,” an official statement issued by the Government of India said.
The statement said that in the wake of the1947 Pakistani aggression in J&K, 31,619 families migrated from Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) to the State of J&K. Of these, 26,319 families settled in the J&K and 5300 families initially opted to move out of the State to other parts of the country, the statement said.
Further, it added, during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 10,065 more families were displaced from Chhamb Niabat area. Of these 3,500 families were displaced during the 1965 war and 6565 families during the 1971 war.
The 36,384 displaced families covered under the package approved by the Cabinet on 30.11.2016 included 26,319 displaced families from PoJK settled in J&K and 10,065 displaced families from Chhamb Niabat area.
“The 5300 DP families of PoJK who initially opted to move out of the State of J&K to other parts of the country were not included in the approved package. Now those displaced families out of the 5300 who initially opted to move out of the State but later returned and settled in J&K are being included in the package,” the statement said.
Inclusion of those displaced families out of 5,300 DP families of PoJK 1947 who have returned and settled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir in the existing scheme, and have suffered on account of wars and hostilities, will enable them to earn a reasonable monthly income and be part of mainstream economic activities, the statement said.
“This will also upgrade the Government’s capacity to respond effectively to such displaced families need of financial assistance. Requirement of funds will be met out of the already sanctioned funds for the existing scheme,” it added.