No Proposal To Repeal 370: Govt

15 July 2014

New Delhi: The Government has no proposal to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Lok Sabha was informed today. 'No' was the reply of Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju to a written question by TMC member Saugata Roy on whether the Government has any proposal to repeal Article 370. Meanwhile, replying to another question, Rijiju said as on date, a total of 270 individuals are being given security by the Central Government on the basis of their threat perception. 'The Central Government provides security cover on the basis of assessment of threat to some individuals. The security provided is subject to periodic review based on which security is continued-withdrawn-downgraded-upgraded. 'Thus the number of protectees in the Central list varies from time to time. However, as on date, there are 270 threat-based protectees in the Central list,' he said. The Government is committed to make conducive atmosphere for facilitating return of Kashmiri migrants, for which the Centre has earmarked Rs 500 crore in its 2014-15 budget. Giving details about Government's plan for the migrants, Rijiju informed Lok Sabha that 57,000 families mostly Kashmiri Pandits along with some families of Sikhs and Muslims migrated from the Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country in 1990 due to onset of militancy. At present there are 60,452 registered Kashmiri migrant families in the country with majority-38,119 in Jammu, 19,338 in Delhi and remaining 1,995 families in rest of the country. The relief paid to eligible 17,248 migrant families includes a cash relief of maximum upto Rs 6,600 per family besides nine Kgs of rice, two Kgs of wheat and one Kg of sugar for which Rs 136 crore is reimbursed to the Jammu and Kashmir Government under the head of Security Related Expenses. About the measures taken for rehabilitation and safe return to the Kashmir Valley, the Minister said the review of such plans and packages is a continuous process and will remain so in order to remove bottlenecks and shortcomings, if any. 'In the Budget of 2014-15, introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 10, 2014, Rs 500 crore has been earmarked for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants,' the Minister informed the House in a written reply. He said that it has been the Government's stated policy to provide various rehabilitation facilities to Kashmiri migrants and to create an environment conducive enough for make them to return to the Valley. He said that two packages were announced for Kashmiri migrants in 2004 and 2008. Under Prime Minister's Package 2004, 5,242 two room tenements have been constructed in Jammu at four locations- Purkhoo, Muthi, Nagrota and Jagti - and have been allotted to the migrants, who were living in various one room tenements, Government buildings and temples. Further, 200 flats have been constructed at Sheikhpora in Budgam district in Kashmir Valley and have been allotted to the migrants on sharing basis, who have joined the Government service under employment component of the 2008 package. Out of these 200 flats, 31 flats have also been allotted to the local migrants, who migrated from their native places to other places within the Kashmir Valley. The Government has announced a Comprehensive Package of Rs 1,618.40 crore in the year 2008 for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants, which provides for many facilities including financial assistance for purchase or construction of houses, repair or renovation of damaged houses and dilapidated or unused houses and construction of transit accommodation. As informed by the State Government, only one family has returned to the Valley availing the benefit of Rs 7.5 Lakh for construction of house under the package.