934 KP families willing to return

25 August 2009
The Daily Excelsior
Inayat Jehangir

SRINAGAR: Following announcement of several incentives, Government today said as many as 934 Kashmiri Pandit migrant families have expressed their willingness to return to their homes in the Valley. Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Raman Bhalla informed the Legislative Assembly that 934 Kashmiri migrant families were willing to return to their homes in Kashmir valley after announcement of Prime Minister's package for the community. The information was given to the House on a question asked by CPI(M) MLA from Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami. Replying to supplementary questions, the Minister assured the Assembly that the Government will remove any encroachment on the properties of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. Asserting that the Government has taken several steps for honourable return of Kashmiri migrants to their homes, Bhalla said Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had announced Rs 1618 crore package for Kashmiri migrants to encourage them to return to their homes in the Valley. He said 15,000 jobs will be provided to the Kashmiri migrants who decide to return to the Valley. 'Out of these, 9,000 jobs will be under self employment scheme while 3,000 will be in the State Government and an equal number in the Central Government,' he added. He said the announcement of job package in budget speech of the Finance Minister had got positive response from the members of the community as the department was constantly receiving the bio-data from prospective employees. 'The migrants who wish to return and wanted to set up their own income generating units shall be entitled for a cash assistance of Rs 5 lakh out of which Rs 2.50 lakh will be subsidy and Rs 2.50 lakh shall be recoverable in easy instalments,' Bhalla said. He said the migrants shall also be entitled for cash assistance for re-cultivation of agriculture and horticulture land upto a maximum ceiling of Rs one lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh respectively. Those migrants who had loan outstanding as on January I, 1990 shall be entitled for waiver of interest, he said. Bhalla said Rs 7.50 lakh cash assistance would be provided to each migrant family for construction or renovation of their houses, he said. 'Those migrants who have sold their properties prior to 1997 and do not possess any house are also entitled for Rs 7.50 lakhs as cash assistance for construction of house either on individual basis or by arranging land on their own or by forming a group of housing society for construction,' he said. The Minister said for those who are ready to return would be provided transit Government accommodation for a period of six months. However, in case the migrants arrange house on rent, the amount of rent shall be reimbursed. 'Those migrants who were registered under relief category shall be entitled for relief for two years after their return to Kashmir valley,' he added. The Minister said school going children, who would return to Valley, shall be entitled for a scholarship of Rs 750 per month. Bhalla said 4218 flats were under construction at Jagti, expected to be completed by May 2010. However, several members including Balwant Singh Mankotia and Vikar Rasool protested against alleged discrimination by the Government in paying compensation to people who had migrate from their native areas in Jammu region.