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Kashmiri migrants to get 3000 addl jobs, 6000 accommodations

JitendraSingh

New Delhi: 3000 additional government jobs and 6,000 transit accommodations will be provided to Kashmiri migrants in the Valley, according to a decision of the Union Cabinet which also enhanced monetary assistance for people displaced from the hilly areas of Jammu region.

Giving details of the two Cabinet decisions, Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said additional 3000 jobs in the state government will be provided to the Kashmiri migrants with financial assistance from the central government.

The Kashmiri migrants, to whom state government jobs are provided, will also be given transit accommodations in the Valley, he said, adding “The financial implication in this respect would be borne by the government of India.”

The provision of jobs will cost the exchequer Rs 1,080 crore whereas Rs 920 crore will be spent on provision of accommodation — Rs 200 crore on purchasing of land and Rs 720 crore on construction.

62,000 Kashmiri pandit migrants families are registered with the government, out of which 39,000 stay in Jammu, 19,000 in Delhi and remaining in other parts of the country.
Earlier in 2008, a package of Rs 1618.40 crore was announced to facilitate the return of the migrants to the Kashmir Valley.

Under this package, 3000 state government jobs were to be provided to the Kashmiri migrants with central funding, of whom 1963 jobs have already been provided and process for the rest was underway.

Nearly 470 transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir Valley which have been allotted to the newly appointed migrant employees on sharing basis.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also cleared a proposal for raising monetary assistance by more than 400 per cent to migrants from hilly areas of Jammu region to make it at par with Kashmiri migrants.

Accordingly, 1,054 families would be receiving assistance of Rs 2,500 per person from the existing Rs 400, costing the exchequer Rs 13.45 crore per annum. However, there will be a ceiling of Rs 10,000 per family, same as applicable with regard to Kashmiri pandit migrants.

As many as 1,054 families migrated from the higher reaches of Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur, Reasi, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar to Jammu city because of militancy in the 1990s.

“There were complaints that people who had to migrate from hilly areas of Jammu in late 1990s due to militancy were not being paid monthly honorarium as par with the Kashmiri migrants,” said Singh, who is an MP from Jammu.

Terming it as a landmark decision, the minister, who also holds the portfolio of Personnel, said the financial assistance would in addition to Rs 300 received by these families for purchasing fodder for their cattle and getting dry ration of nine kgs wheat, two kgs rice and 10 litres of Kerosene oil.

The decision comes close on the heels of the Prime Minister’s announcement on November 7 of a Rs 80,080 crore package to J&K for various projects