Srinagar: At a time when the government appears to be working on the return of Pandits on war footing, the assembly was told on Saturday that the government has no data on the number of migrant Pandit families that have returned to their native places in the Valley.
The details are still being collected, compiled and verified in order to arrive at factually correct data, the government said in reply to a question by MLA Langate and patron Awami Ittihad Party (AIP) Er Rashid in Assembly.
In reply to another question, the government said they have been asked by the Government of India to approve the construction of additional 6000 Transit Accommodations for migrant Pandits who are in the government service in Kashmir Valley.
The government said they have also been asked to create additional 3000 jobs for migrant Pandit youth for which, they said, the process is efforts are on.
The government said that under the package of Rs 1618.40 cr sanctioned in 2008-9, the assistance of Rs 7.5 lakh each is being provided to those who intend to return back to their native places.
For those migrants who couldn’t return to their native places because of some reasons, the controversial housing colonies (Pandit townships) have been proposed to be constructed in certain areas of Kashmir, the government said.
Under the package, the Pandits will also be provided a one-time grant for the revival of their agriculture & horticulture land in Valley. During this period they will continue to receive the financial assistance and scholarships for their school going children.
The Pandits are currently being provided monthly cash assistance of Rs 2500 per person monthly subject to a maximum of Rs 10,000 per family.
In addition, they are being provided ration of 9 Kgs, 2Kgs and 1Kgs of rice, atta and sugar respectively.
From March 2014 to April 2016, government said that around Rs 322 crore and Rs 18.76 crore have been incurred on providing cash assistance and food grains to the Pandits in Jammu, the government said.
The assembly was also told that two families have already returned to their places and Rs 12.50 lakh have been provided to them for the construction of houses.