Today except three members of Panun Kashmir and two members Jitender Bakshi and C.L. Vishav who were indisposed all other 30 members attended the apex committee meeting which met under the Chairmanship of Minister for Revenue, Raman Bhalla.
It was since 1990 when apex committee of Kashmiri Pandit migrated from the valley, met first time where out of 35 members, 30 attended the meeting which proves seriousness of majority of representatives of the Kashmiri pandits to return to the valley so that the highest ever relief package of Rs 1618 crore by Prime Minister’s Dr. Manmohan Singh for the migrants is implemented in letter and spirit and the migrant pandit are able to live among their Muslim brethren in the valley with all facilities and convenience.
Minister of State for Revenue and Relief Nasir Aslam Wani, Commissioner/Secretary Finance, Sudhanshu Pandey, Commissioner/Secretary, GAD, Basharat Ahmed Dhar, Secretary Revenue, Eijaz Iqbal, Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, (M) Vinod Koul besides members of Apex Advisory Committee MLC, Vijay Bakaya, MLC, s Khem Lata Wakhloo, Ashok Bhan (Advocate), Ashwani Chirangoo, A. N. Vaishnavi, H. L. Chatta, Prof. A. N. Sadhu, Moti Lal, Hridey Nath Jatu, Moti Lal Koul, Chuni Lal Bhat, Bhushan Lal Bhat-Ex-MLC, Anil Dhar, Krishan Kumar Khosa, Jatin Bhat, Vinod Pandit, Pyare Lal, Bansi Lal (Purkhoo), Ashok Hangloo, Dr. R. L. Bhat, Prof. C. L. Vishan, Moti Lal Bhat, Avtar Krishan, Sanjay Saraf, Kumar Ji Wanchu, Hira Lal Pandita and Roshan Lal (Purkhoo) were also present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister has already in his package announced Rs. 7.5 lakh financial assistance to any family which will undertake renovation/reconstruction of their houses located in the valley. They will be given accommodation by the government till they complete their re-construction of their houses. In case any family would like to stay in their chosen rented accommodation, the rent will be reimbursed by the government.
The package has also allowed different families who have sold their houses to farm cooperative societies and accordingly each member family of the society will be given financial assistance of Rs 7.5 lakh for purchasing the land and constructing the house.
The Prime Minister in his package has also announced 6000 government jobs for Kashmiri pandits in the valley, out of which 3000 will be given by State government out of available vacancies and salaries of other 3000 will be born by the Central government initially.
All the Kashmiri pandit migrants who will return to the valley will continue to get the relief for 2 years as per already announced package. Their children will also be given monthly stipend. The package also provides relief for those migrant pandits who have Horticulture and Agriculture land and desire to revive the same. They will be given 1.50 lakh for the purpose. Those migrants who have raised the loan prior to 1989 shall be given interest waiver facility.
The transit accommodation has been already identified for migrant KPs who desire to return back to the valley in Anantnag, Kulgam and Baramulla. Two transit accommodations have already built up in Sheikhpora (Budgam) and Mattan in Anantnag districts. In Sheikhpora, Budgam, 35 pandit families are already living
The committee constituted by the government shall monitor implementation of all these schemes and shall also take appropriate measures in this direction. The committee after deliberating shall also put forward further suggestions and recommendation which it will deem fit for the smooth return of Kashmiri pandits to the valley.
The meeting deliberated successfully and the entire participant members were of the view that the time has come to implement the package for those of the KP’s who desire to return to the valley.
Raman Bhalla assures the members that keeping in view the seriousness of Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah and majority of the people of
Meanwhile A snap survey by a news agency of J&K,KIP has revealed that not more than 20 percent displaced families are keen to return permanently to Kashmir.Yes,more than 60 per cent displaced people are in favour of spending the summer months in the valley for which they would accept a modified package.Why not more than 20 per cent displaced people are willing to return to Kashmir ? It is so because wards of majority of displaced people are settled in various states and in foreign lands.Others are enrolled as students in various professional colleges.Hence the youth belonging to both the categories are not willing to return because for them the scope for lucrative jobs is highly limited in
There is a sizeable percentage of the displaced people who have sold their houses and land in
A large number of the displaced people are of the opinion that the security scenario had not yet improved to the extent that displaced people could be ensured risk free living.They say that security situation continues to fluctuate and nothing definite can be said about it when in recent weeks the rate of infiltration from across the LOC has gone up and so has the level of violence.
But the Government seems to be determined to implement the package even if less than 40 per cent of the displaced people are ready to accept the offer.The Revenue Minister,Raman Bhalla has said that the Government survey has revealed that over 14,000 displaced youth were unemployed.He said "if on one hand several leaders have opposed to join the deliberations on the return scheme over 13500 Pandit unemployed youths had,in writing,conveyed their desire to accept the package" The Relief Commissioner,Vinod Koul,said that "we plan to provide jobs to over 15,000 displaced youths but these jobs can be given to them only in the valley.He and Bhalla said that once these 13500 youths accept the Government jobs in the valley it would be the beginning of the return process.
Bhalla said that the Government has constituted a 32-member apex committee and "we have given representation to leaders belonging to all the Pandit bodies." He said if the Pandit leaders continue to adopt rigid stand "we will take leaders of various organisations in the migrant camps on the committee."