MHA nod to Rs 7648 cr PM package for migrants' return

MHA nod to Rs 7648 cr PM package for migrants' return

29 October 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Avtar Bhat

Jammu: The Union Government in principle has given its green signal to the State Government's proposal of Rs 7648 crore Prime Minister's revised package for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants in the Kashmir valley.. A high level official team of State Government led by Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal discussed the issue with Home Secretary, R K Singh in Union Capital today in which the Home Ministry sought some clarifications from the State Government on the revised proposal furnished by it recently. Besides, the Home Secretary, the meeting was attended by Joint Secretary, Home K Skandan, Deputy secretary P P Singh and other senior officers while the State Government besides Madhav Lal was represented by Commissioner Secretary Revenue, B A Runyal and Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner Migrants R K Pandita. According to highly placed sources, the Home Secretary sought certain clarifications from the State Government representatives' on revised package and in principle it gave its green signal to the proposal submitted earlier after being approved by State Cabinet. Sources said this was the last meeting on the issue with Government of India on PM's Rehabilitation package for Kashmiri migrants as the Home Ministry will submit the same to Finance Ministry for its concurrence. Sources said that all aspects of the rehabilitation package were discussed in detail by the State Government team with Union Home Ministry and the later did not show any reservation regarding the payment of Rs 20 lakh as compensation for construction of a house by a migrant family on its return to Valley and sanction of Rs five lakh and Rs three lakh respectively to each orchardist and agriculturist as compensation for the losses suffered by them. Besides the Home Ministry also agreed the State Government's proposal to provide funds for all 6000 posts of Kashmiri migrants being appointed under PM's employment package, sources said, adding earlier the Centre while sanctioning the package had agreed to provide funds for 3000 posts only which will be born under Central component while the State Government was asked to provide funds from its own resources for the remaining 3000 posts. However, the State Government later showed its inability to provide funds for the remaining 3000 posts due to lack of resources with it and submitted a proposal to Union Government urging it to provide funds for the same also. Besides, the enhancement of cash relief, to the tune of Rs 10,000 per migrant family per month was also discussed in detail by the State Government representatives with Home Ministry , the sources said, adding that the representatives while pleading for approval of the relief informed the meeting that the last hike in relief was made in 2009 and in view of hike in cost of living the enhancement of cash relief to the tune of Rs 10,000 was justified. Sources said the Home Secretary also suggested bringing those displaced families in the ambit of rehabilitation package who did not fall under the category of Distress Sale Act asking the State Government representatives to provide every migrant family the benefit of the package who wants to return to Valley. Earlier State Government had decided to bring those families under the Distress Sale Act who had sold their properties after 2007. Sources said that Government has proposed return of 20,000 migrant families to Valley at initial stage and later others will also be included, who are willing for the return. It was also decided to provide the benefit of return package to those migrant employees who were appointed in Kashmir Valley under the PM's employment package and were willing to settle in the Valley. The total package, which tentatively amounted to Rs 7648 crore, also includes construction of more transit accommodations in Valley and renovation of dilapidated migrant houses, sources added. It may be recalled that earlier Rs 7.5 lakh were earmarked for payment to a migrant family for construction of house on its return to Valley but the same was later opposed by Apex Committee members on the ground that this amount was even less for purchasing a piece of land as the cost of living has increased manifold. Later the Relief Department on the directives of Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister, Raman Bhalla prepared a revised package, which was okayed by the Cabinet and submitted to Center for its approval. Sources said the meeting with Union Home Secretary was over due as earlier it was postponed twice.