J&K Govt Clears Special Employment Package For Kashmiri Pandits

J&K Govt Clears Special Employment Package For Kashmiri Pandits

20 June 2012
India Today


Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday announced an employment package for Kashmiri Pandits who did not migrate from the Valley. 'The state cabinet recommended the proposal for enhancement of package of incentives for funding to the Government of India under Prime Minister's package for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. The revenue department has been asked to work out an employment package for the members of the minority community who did not migrate from the Valley,' the government spokesman said. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah presided over the cabinet meeting. Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS), an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits in the state, welcomed the decision. 'It was long overdue. We hope the decision would be implemented soon,' KPSS president Sanjay Kumar Tickoo said. He added that since 1990 more than 800 Valley-based Kashmiri Pandit families were exempted from any package announced by the state and the Central governments. In fact, they were not given any benefit, even under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's relief and rehabilitation package. The Prime Minister had in 2008 announced a Rs.1,618 crore relief and rehabilitation package. 'Relief commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir was ready to help us provided we submit IDP (internally displaced person) certificate to him. That would have proved death for us. And the Union Home Ministry, which is nodal agency to disburse PM's package as it comes under security head, was not considering us as migrants. All this prompted us to write to the chief secretary of the state and the principal secretary to the Prime Minister,' Tickoo said. On March 1, 2012, Tickoo sought the PM's intervention when he wrote to his principal secretary asking him that the Valley-based Kashmiri Pandits should be included in the package and sought jobs for 561 non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit youth.