GoI skips reply on number of Pandit families returning to Kashmir since 2014



Kashmiri Pandits pay obeisance at the Kheer Bhawani temple in Ganderbal. Photograph by Vikar Syed for The Kashmir Walla

Srinagar: The Government India on Thursday said that its endeavour is to ensure the safe return of Kashmiri migrants by providing various rehabilitation facilities and to create an environment conducive for their return to the Valley.

Revealing this parliament in reply to a question by Congress’s Digvijay Singh, Minister of State MHA Krishan Reddy however chose not answer specifically the number of KP families returning to Valley since 2014.

The veteran congress leader had sought to know whether Government had promised in 2014 that they would ensure return of Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with security and dignity and assured employment. He had also sought to know how many such families have returned since 2014.

“The Government has approved (various) rehabilitation schemes for Kashmiri migrants. Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package, 2015 (PMDP- 2015), creation of 3,000 State Government jobs for the Kashmiri migrants at an outlay of Rs. 1,080 crores (were approved).”

As per the information provided by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, the minister said selection process has been concluded in respect of 1781 posts and 604 candidates have joined in different departments as on 22 February, 2020. “These jobs are in addition to the 3000 State Government jobs approved under the Prime Minister’s Package-2008, against which 2,905 jobs have been filled,” he said.

He said government has also approved construction of 6,000 transit accommodations at an outlay of Rs. 920 crores for accommodating 3000 Kashmiri migrants employed under PMRP- 2008 and for 3000 additional migrants under PMDP-2015. 849 flats are available for accommodation and 560 flats are under construction.

“In addition, the Government of India reimburses monthly cash relief to the eligible Kashmiri migrants settled in Jammu. Since the year 2014, the monthly cash relief has been enhanced twice i.e. from Rs. 6600 per family to Rs. 10,000 per family in 2015 and to Rs. 13,000 per family in 2018. In addition, dry ration is also provided to these Kashmiri migrants.”

In case of Kashmiri migrants settled in Delhi, Reddy said, the Government of India reimburses the expenditure incurred by the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) on the monthly cash relief of Rs.3250 per person out of which the share of GNCTD is Rs. 1000 per person. (GNS)

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