Disbursement of Rs 2000 cr package to PoK refugees will take more time

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The disbursement of Rs 2000 crore package to the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) refugees will take more time as modalities in this regard have not been finalized by the Relief and Rehabilitation Department and Union Ministry of Home Affairs has yet not fixed the scale of compensation per family as requested by the State Government.
Official sources told that following Governor’s directions to the Chief Secretary in a meeting held on January 14, 2016 regarding preparation of a detailed scheme for disbursement of relief to the PoK and submission of the same to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Administrative Secretary of Relief and Rehabilitation Department held detailed discussions with the Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Provincial Rehabilitation Officer (PRO).
During the discussion, several important issues were deliberated upon as process of disbursement of one time settlement package involves several intricacies and if all aspects are not taken into consideration some legal issues may crop up at the time of actual disbursement, sources said.
The data of refugees available with the Relief and Rehabilitation Department has to be verified in respect of change in head of the families. Moreover, in case of bifurcation of families certain clarifications are required to be sought so as to avoid legal issues at the latter stage.
“Some families might have changed the names of the heads of the families following death of those earlier registered with the Relief and Rehabilitation authorities and there may be large number of families which have not carried out the corrections. As such it becomes imperative to cross-check the data of Government with the families”, sources said.
“The Divisional Commissioner Jammu as well as Provincial Rehabilitation Officer have evolved some application forms based on different issues and other formalities to be taken from the refugees and the same have been furnished to the Administrative Secretary of Relief and Rehabilitation for final decision, which is still awaited”, sources further informed, adding after finalization of the detailed scheme, the same would be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval without which disbursement cannot begin.
Disclosing that even scale of relief per family has yet not been decided, sources said that recently on the directions of the Governor, the Relief and Rehabilitation Department has sent a formal communication in this regard to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs whose decision on the subject is still awaited.
“Keeping all these aspects in mind, the disbursement of relief would take more time”, sources said while expressing inability to specify any time-frame for this exercise.
They further said that it would be only after decision on the important aspects including mechanism and scale of relief that MHA would formally start release of funds out of Rs 2000 crore provision kept for the PoK refugees in the Central Package announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir on November 7, 2015.
Rs 2000 crore package is over and above the compensation which has been provided to the PoK refugees till date. “This is one time settlement of their claims”, sources said.
According to the sources, Centre would release the amount in installments and submission of Utilization Certificate of released installment would be a stringent condition for availing subsequent installments.
It is pertinent to mention here that with the announcement of Rs 2000 crore package, the PoK refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971 would be getting relief after a long wait of nearly 68 years.

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