Migration a boon? Post-‘90s, KPs received Rs 1365 cr cash assistance

JAMMU:  An amount of Rs 1365 crore has been provided as cash assistance and for ration purposes to Kashmiri Pandits after they left the Valley in 1990, the government said Friday.
“Rs 1365 crore was provided to the Kashmiri Pandits from 1989 till  January 31, 2014,” Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Ajaz Ahmad Khan said in a written reply to a query in the Legislative Council.
Khan said Rs 1143 crore was provided to the community as cash assistance alone and Rs 161 crore worth food grains were also distributed, besides Rs 44 crore provided for infrastructure facilities and Rs 17 crore on civic action programme.
In 1997, Khan said, 29,074 families were registered with Relief Organisation, Jammu, and at present 40,857 families are registered; they include 22,176 non-relief categories and 18,681 relief category. He attributed the increase to bifurcation of families and not due to any fresh migration.
Besides, there are 21,333 families who have registered themselves in Delhi and other states of India, the minister said, adding that there are 869 Kashmiri Pandit families still living in the Kashmir Valley.
He said Srinagar has highest number of Pandit families (273) followed by Anantnag (158), Pulwama (133) Kulgam (77) and Shopian (70).
“With the improvement in security situation, the government is of view that at this stage these (migrant) families can be resettled at their native places,” the minister said. “And in this regard they were offered some financial package for their return and rehabilitation to the valley.”
“It was with this object in mind that a proposal regarding sanction of financial package involving an amount of Rs 91.56 crore has been forwarded with prior approval of State Cabinet to Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India for conveying necessary approval to the package and release of funds under Security Related expenditure,” the minister said.
The main components of the package are repairs and reconstruction of houses, re-cultivation of agriculture lands, employment of 300 youths, financial assistance for 300 income generating units and continuation of relief for three years, the minister said.