JAMMU, June 15: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today formally approved financial assistance amounting to Rs 5.5 lakh per family to 5764 families of West Pakistani refugees settled in Jammu and Kashmir. With this, third major announcement made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his two-day visit to the State on June 7-8 has been fulfilled.
This is for the first time since about 70 years of settlement of West Pakistani refugees here that they were being paid compensation by the Government though their major demand for permanent citizenship rights in the State hasn’t been conceded by the Government so far.
An official statement issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs today said the Government of India has approved financial assistance amounting to Rs 5.5 lakh per family to West Pakistani refugees, which will benefit 5764 families, who have been residing in the State.
“The scheme will come into effect from 13.6.2018,” the MHA statement said.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs will be depositing amount of Rs 5.5 lakh per family in the bank accounts of eligible beneficiaries based on authentication by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
The J&K Government will identify the families of West Pakistani refugees settled here and submit their list to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which will directly deposit amount in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
“For smooth implementation of the transfer of amount to the West Pakistani refugees, the State Government will appoint a Nodal Officer shortly, who will receive applications from the refugees, verify them and submit the cases to the MHA,” sources said.
They added that the Central Government will be bearing entire expenditure for the scheme and the State Government didn’t have to contribute anything except for facilitating the payment to beneficiaries by identifying the genuine refugee families.
It may be mentioned here that the announcement regarding financial assistance of Rs 5.5 lakh to the West Pakistani refugees was made by Rajnath Singh during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 7 and 8.
However, the Government remained non-committal to the demand for granting citizenship rights to the West Pakistani refugees, which they had been asking for ever since their settlement here.
With today’s MHA order extending Rs 5.5 lakh compensation to each West Pakistani refugee family in Jammu and Kashmir, three major announcements made by Rajnath Singh at his press conference here on June 8 have been fulfilled.
Yesterday, the MHA had issued the order increasing monthly relief of Kashmiri and Jammu migrants by 30 per cent i.e. from Rs 10,000 per month to Rs 13,000. It had also announced to bear entire cost of renovation of Jagati and Talwara migrant camps.
Prior to this, the MHA had issued order for setting up of two women police battalions in Jammu and Kashmir with 60 per cent reservation for women of 10 border districts of the State. A total of nine police battalions will be raised for Jammu and Kashmir. In five Indian Reserve Police (IRP) battalions, there will be 60 per cent reservation for the border areas.