‘Only one KP family returned to Kashmir under GoI package’

Jammu: Government has said that only one family has so far returned to the Valley and availed benefits under the Government of India’s Package for Return and Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrant Pandits, since it was implemented in the state in 2009.
Minister of State for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Ajaz Ahmed Khan while replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Vijay Bakaya in the Legislative Council said that in order to implement the package, applications were invited from migrants who were willing to return to the Valley.
Though 4,898 families applied, only one family has returned so far, he said, adding that the others did not pursue the matter further.
The minister said the central government had in 2008 sanctioned an economic package of Rs 1,618.40 crore for return of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley and their rehabilitation, and it was approved by the state for implementation in 2009.
The minister said under the package construction of transit accommodation was taken up at Vessu, Hawal, Baramulla and Kupwara. As many as 335 of total 495 transit units have already been completed, he added. Eighteen flats at Mattan and 200 at Sheikhpora were also built for the purpose.
He said under the employment component of the package 3,000 posts were created in 2009 and separate rules were notified for making recruitment against these posts. So far, appointment orders have been issued to 2,184 candidates, of which 1,446 have joined in various departments, he said.
As many as 826 posts, which were reserved under various categories, have been opened to all by making amendment in the J&K Reservation Act, 2004. The process of recruitment to the posts, along with others, had been stalled for sometime owing to a status quo direction from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, he said.
The minister said the state government was keen to facilitate return of Kashmiri migrants to the valley, but “they cannot be forced for the same”.
It is expected that after the revised package, which was approved by the state cabinet and has been submitted to the Government of India, was cleared there would be visible progress on ground and people may return.—PTI