Centre approves aid hike for migrant Kashmiri Pandits
Migrant Kashmiri Pandit (KP) families will get hiked financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per family per month. The Centre has cleared the proposal of the state government to hike the financial assistance from the present Rs 6,600 per family.
Relief and rehabilitation commissioner (migrants) RK Pandita said the KP families will get hiked assistance from May. The hiked will benefit 63,000 registered migrant families, including 41,000 in the Jammu. It will cost the central government Rs 120 crores annually.
The financial assistance is provided by the home ministry under security related expenditure to the State government. The centre makes periodic review of the financial assistance to the KPs.
The proposal to hike financial assistance was sent by in 2012 by the cabinet of the outgoing Omar Abdullah headed Congress-National Conference government. The cabinet approval is must for getting this financial assistance from the centre.
The approval to hike financial assistance, is seen as a first major beneficial announcement for the Kashmiri Pandits by the Narendra Modi headed BJP led central government, after it was forced to backtrack on the separate colonies for the them in Kashmir to facilitate their return. The state government had categorically said it will build composite not separate township for the KPs in valley after separatists opposed this move.
“It’s not a gift by the Modi government. The hike is routine process. If the Modi government is sensitive to the migrants, then it should have also cleared the proposal of giving financial assistance of Rs 25 lakh to each family who had migrated from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK),” said former revenue minister Raman Bhalla.