Jammu And Kashmir Seeks Rs 6,000 Cr For Rehab Of Pandits

3 July 2014
The Indian Express
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit, the Jammu and Kashmir government has sent the Centre a fresh rehabilitation plan for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley. The new rehabilitation proposal keeps in consideration housing, employment and security for the Pandits. Under the proposal the state government had sought an assistance of around Rs 6,000 crore from the Centre. The state Cabinet met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday evening to discuss the issue. 'The Cabinet also asked the Revenue department to work out modalities for implementation of the plan sent to the Union government,' an official spokesman said.The state government had formulated a plan in 2008 for the return of Kashmiri Pandits but it failed to bring them back. Thus, so the plan was revisited and revised first in 2012 and then in 2013. Under the new proposal the state had sought money for employment of the unemployed Kashmiri Pandit youths, finance for comprehensive housing areas and security around the places where they will be rehabilitated, beside funds for soft loans and agricultural loans. The proposal also recommended to enhance cash assistance to such families from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh either for repair of ancestral houses or for construction of new ones. During his recent visit to the Valley, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also holds the Defence portfolio, discussed the issue with the CM.