West Pak refugees to get 30 lakh package: PSC

A Parliamentary panel has strongly recommended for early finalisation of one-time financial package of Rs 30 lakh to each family of West Pakistan refugees settled in Jammu and Kashmir.
West Pak refugees to get 30 lakh package: PSC
GK Photo
A Parliamentary panel has strongly recommended for early finalisation of one-time financial package of Rs 30 lakh to each family of West Pakistan refugees settled in Jammu and Kashmir.

The department related Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Home Affairs is of the considered view that even if West Pakistan refugees cannot be equated with the Kashmiri Pandits migrants, but they deserve immediate relief and rehabilitation for sustenance without delay.

"The Committee strongly recommends that the central government should impress upon the state government for early finalisation of one time financial package of settlement of West Pakistan refugees. One time compensation of Rs 30 lakh may be provided within one year and there should not be any delay  in the matter, " the panel said in its report.

The Committee expressed its displeasure over the indifferent attitude of the Jammu and Kashmir government to the problems of West Pakistan refugees saying the state government has not furnished proposal to the Union Home Ministry to procure one-time financial package compensation to west Pakistan refugees who are otherwise in dire need of immediate relief and rehabilitation for sustenance.

The Committee notes that West Pakistan refugees are not given adequate assistance by the Jammu and Kashmir government and hence they are forced to live in miserable conditions. "West Pakistan refugees are in a peculiar condition wherein though they are the citizens of India and have voting rights for Parliamentary elections but they are not considered subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.  "Therefore, the Committee recommends that the central government may declare a direct special assistance package for rehabilitation of West Pakistan refugees, " the report said. The panel said it was not in agreement with the plea of the Home Ministry that since there would be practical problems in fresh enumeration of displaced persons (DPs), the demand for official registration of DPs of 1947 could not be accepted.

"The Committee is of the view that government of India and state government of J&K should take all pre-emptive measures to address the practical problems they are anticipating and then issue an advertisement inviting applications for general enumeration of all Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir, DPs families so that left over families of DPs are officially registered enabling them for their entitlement of claim for package/ compensation. 

"The committee, therefore, strongly desires that all necessary action may be undertaken without further delay, " it said. Around 5,764 families consisting of 47,215 persons migrated from West Pakistan and got settled in different areas of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of J&K constitution. 

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