PoK refugees likely to get Rs 2k cr relief

PoK refugees likely to get Rs 2k cr relief

Modi govt approves some concession

PoK refugees likely to get Rs 2k cr relief

After extending more facilities to the persecuted minorities from Pakistan, the government is now planning to announce a Rs 2,000-crore package for people from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

 The Ministry of Home Affairs is expecting to take the proposal to the Cabinet soon and get its clearance within a month, official sources said.

 If the proposal goes through, 36,348 families identified by the Jammu & Kashmir government will get the benefit. Each family is likely to get around Rs 5.5 lakh each.

 The refugees from west Pakistan, mostly from PoK, have settled in different areas of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts, but they do not have all the facilities. They do not have permanent resident status.

 The Modi government had approved some concessions for refugees from west Pakistan settled in Jammu & Kashmir last year, which included special recruitment drives for induction into paramilitary forces, equal employment opportunities in the state and admission of the children of refugees to Kendriya Vidyalayas.

The government’s plans to extend more facilities comes against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi making remarks about the plight of the people of PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan repeatedly earlier this month.

 According to the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, these refugees cannot get permanent residents status in the state. They can vote in the Lok Sabha elections, but cannot vote in the state elections.

The Parliamentary standing committee on home affairs had earlier flagged the concerns of the refugees.