New package for KPs: Centre

NEW DELHI, Nov 26: Government is examining a new package for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and it is being finalised in consultation with the Jammu and Kashmir Government and representatives of migrants, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told Rajya Sabha that the J&K Government has sent a proposal for revision in the existing Prime Minister’s Package-2008 seeking enhancement of financial assistance for various components, including reconstruction of houses, State Government jobs to the migrant youths besides financial assistance for acquiring land.
“The proposal is presently under examination in the Home Ministry. The new package for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants is being finalised in consultation with the State Government and the representatives of migrants,” he said in reply to a written question.
Rijiju said the Government had announced a comprehensive package amounting to Rs 1618.40 crore in 2008 for the return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri migrants. The package provides for financial assistance for purchase or construction/repair of houses in the Valley, construction of transit accommodations, scholarship to students, employment, assistance for agriculture and horticulture and waiver of interest on unpaid loans.
“The review of such plans and packages is a continuous process and will continue to remain so in order to remove the bottlenecks and shortcomings, if any,” he said.
The Minister said the Government is committed to facilitate the return of the Kashmiri migrants to the Valley and their proper rehabilitation there.
The Government has already earmarked Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants in the 2014-15 Union Budget.
The Minister said at present there are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families in the country. About 40,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families are residing in Jammu; about 19,338 registered Kashmiri migrant families are in Delhi and about 1,995 families are settled in other States.
The Minister said the Centre is providing various rehabilitation facilities to Kashmiri migrants and has announced various packages for them from time to time. The Government of India is facilitating cash relief of Rs 6,600 per family per month along with free monthly ration to about 18,250 Kashmiri migrant families residing in Jammu.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi is also providing cash relief of Rs 6,600 per family per month to about 3,385 eligible Kashmiri migrant families residing in Delhi. Other States are providing relief as per scales fixed by them from their own budget.
Rijiju said the Central Government has already written to the State Government to identify land in the vicinity of Srinagar and other towns in the Kashmir Valley, near the native places of the Kashmiri migrants, where they can be suitably rehabilitated.
Under Prime Minister’s Package 2004, 5,242 two room tenements have been constructed in Jammu at four locations [Purkhoo, Muthi, Nagrota and Jagti] and have been allotted to the migrants, who were living in various one room tenements, Government buildings, temples, etc in Jammu.
Further, 200 flats have been constructed at Sheikhpora in Budgam district (Kashmir Valley). Out of these, 31 flats have also been allotted to the local migrants (who migrated from their native places to other places within the Kashmir Valley) and remaining to those migrants (on sharing basis) who have joined the Government service under the employment component of Prime Minister’s Package-2008.
Also, 469 transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir Valley under Prime Minister’s Package-2008 and allotted to the newly appointed migrant employees, he said. (PTI)


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