SRINAGAR: The government has incurred Rs 321.948 crore on account of providing cash assistance to Kashmiri migrants from March 2014 to April 2016. An amount of Rs 18.76 crore was also incurred for providing food grains to the migrants registered under relief category in Jammu.
Replying to a question by Engineer Abdul Rashid in the House, the Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Syed Basharat Bukhari informed the House that said that Kashmiri migrants under relief category are presently being provided monthly cash assistance of Rs 2500 per person monthly subject to maximum of Rs 10000 per family per month. He said in addition these families are provided ration, rice at the rate of 9 kg per person per month, Atta 2 kg per person per month and sugar 1 kg per family per month.
The Minster informed the House that for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, the Centre and State Government has sanctioned a package of Rs 1618.40 crore 2008 and 2009. He said that under the package those Kashmiri migrants who propose or intend to return to their original place of stay, there is a component of financial assistance of Rs 7. 50 lakh for construction of house. The Minister said that in addition to this, 6000 government jobs and 9000 additional jobs through establishing income generating units are being also provided to the Kashmiri migrant Pandits under the PM’s Package.
The Minister said that under the package one time grant for revival of Agriculture and Horticulture land besides continuation of relief for two years, scholarships to the school going children and waiver of interest would also be provided to the Kashmiri migrants whom propose or intend to return to their original places of residence.
The Minister further informed that registered Muslim families who migrated to different parts of the country are also entitled to the assistance as are provided to other migrant communities in that part of the country by the concerned State.
Intervening during the supplementary question of the member, Minister for Education, Naeem Akhter said that the Government has a proper plan to rehabilitate Kashmiri migrant Pandits who he termed as the important part of State’s composite culture. The Minster said that he would like to clarify in the house that government was keen to make necessary arrangements for their return.
“Kashmiri Pandits are part and parcel of our cultural ethos. Our ultimate goal is to bring them back with honor and dignity. For that we as mainstream parties need to have a consensus among ourselves,” he said.