Centre examining new package for Kashmiri Pandits
New Delhi: 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 Jammu and Kashmir 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 Kashmir migrant families are in Delhi and about 1,995 families are settled in other states.