The union cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to provide state government jobs and transit accommodation in the Kashmir Valley for thousands of Kashmiri migrants forced to flee their homes in early 1990s.
The proposal is estimated to cost Rs.2,000 crore, an official statement said.
The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved a proposal to provide relief to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division at par with the relief being provided to the Kashmiri migrants — worth Rs.13.45 crore — annually.
“Terrorist violence, militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in its early phases, had led to large scale forced migration of members of the Kashmiri Pandit community along with some Sikh and Muslim families from the Kashmir Valley,” the statement said.
At present, there are about 62,000 registered migrant Kashmiri families residing in Jammu, Delhi and neighbouring areas as well as other parts of the country, it said.
The new proposal provides for additional 3,000 state government jobs to the Kashmiri migrants with financial assistance from the central government and construction of transit accommodations in the Kashmir Valley for the Kashmiri migrants to whom state government jobs are given.
The statement said the central government would carry the financial burden for the whole programme.
In another decision, the cabinet approved a proposal for providing relief to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division at par with the relief being provided to the Kashmiri migrants involving a total estimated expenditure of Rs.13.45 crore per annum.
“Besides the families who migrated from the valley, many families migrated from different hilly areas of Jammu division to safer places of nearby towns due to security reasons. At present, there are about 1,054 registered Jammu migrant families,” it said.
At present, the Jammu and Kashmir government was providing cash relief of Rs.400 per head per month (maximum Rs.1,600 per family per month), cash assistance of Rs.300 per cattle per month for purchase of fodder, plus dry ration (9 kg atta, 2 kg rice per person per month and 10 liter kerosene per family per month) to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division.
The new proposal would enhance the relief being provided to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division at par with the Kashmiri migrants i.e. a cash relief of Rs.2,500 per head per month (maximum Rs.10,000 per family per month) plus relief for ration and fodder.
The expenditure incurred by the state government in this regard would now be reimbursed by the central government.
Earlier in 2008, a package of Rs.1,618.40 crore was announced to facilitate the return of the migrants to the Kashmir Valley.
Under this package, 3,000 state government jobs were to be provided to the Kashmiri migrant with central funding, of whom 1,963 jobs have already been provided and process for remaining is underway.
A total of 469 transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir valley which have been allotted to the newly appointed migrant employees on sharing basis.