254 Kashmiri Pandits in govt. jobs since 2015

Coming together: Kashmiri Pandits staging a sit-in in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on January 19, 2020.

Coming together: Kashmiri Pandits staging a sit-in in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on January 19, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

As many as 254 Kashmiri Pandits have joined government service in Jammu and Kashmir since a special package was announced for the displaced community by the Centre in 2015.

Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7, 2015, the government approved creation of 3,000 additional State government jobs for Pandits at a cost of ₹1,080 crore.

Also read | Thirty years on, still no spring for the Pandits

A similar employment package was announced by the Manmohan Singh government in 2008 under which 1,474 State government jobs were provided to the migrant youth.

The Union Home Ministry, in reply to a parliamentary standing committee on relief and rehabilitation provided to Kashmiri Pandits, said that “till date, appointment orders to 528 candidates have been issued and 254 have joined duties.”

The special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was revoked and the State was bifurcated and downgraded into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh by Parliament on August 6, 2019.

The Ministry told the panel that as per the inputs provided by the government of Jammu and Kashmir, there are 64,827 registered migrant families comprising 60,489 Hindu families, 2,609 Muslim families and 1,729 Sikh families.

“Of the 64,827 families, 43,494 families are registered in Jammu, 19,338 in Delhi and 1,995 families are settled in other States and Union Territories. Of the 43,494 migrant families, 5,248 families are living in migrant camps,” the report tabled in Parliament last week said.

The Ministry said the government had been providing relief and rehabilitation packages to all registered migrants “irrespective of their religion”.

“Cash relief to the eligible Jammu and Kashmiri migrants is given at the rate of ₹3,250 per person with a ceiling of ₹13,000 per family a month. The last enhancement was sanctioned in June 2018. In addition, dry ration is also provided,” the Ministry told the panel.

Hike in cash relief

The monthly cash relief to the Kashmiri migrants was increased from ₹6,600 per family as sanctioned in 2004 to ₹13,000 per family per month in 2018. The cash allowance provided by the State governments is reimbursed by the MHA.

“Regarding the transit accommodation, 849 flats are available, and 560 flats are under construction,” the report said.

The panel led by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma observed that “the living conditions in the 849 transit accommodations are not good” and recommended that the Ministry should send a team to visit the transit accommodation and take necessary steps to provide adequate living conditions including floor space, hygienic food, water supply, sanitation and other basic amenities.

The committee also recommended that the Ministry should fast-track the construction of new transit accommodations so that the burden on the existing accommodation might be eased, the report said.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 2:26:36 AM |

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