Jammu, May 24: J&K government Wednesday extended the timeline of the scheme “Central assistance for one time settlement of displaced families of Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (1947) and Chhamb (1965 and 1971} settled in Jammu and Kashmir” from March 31, 2022 to March 31, 2024.
As per an order issued by the J&K Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, the extension has been given to the scheme with the approved outlay of Rs 2000 Cr.
It is aimed to facilitate those displaced families which could not avail the benefit of the scheme within the deadline for any valid reason. The extension is, however, with the stipulation (of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs) that the scheme should not “continue beyond the sunset date of March 31, 2024.”
The decision followed the approval of the same (extension) by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on May 3, 2023, positively responding to a request and a string of reminder letters by the Union Territory (J&K) government.
Notably the J&K Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction had issued notification vide endorsement No DMRRR-ER/76/2021 dated January 24, 2022 followed by extension dated February 9, 2022 for closure of the scheme of “One time financial assistance to Displaced Persons of POJK (1947) and Chhamb (1965 & 1971) of Jammu & Kashmir” and for filing claims in the offices of designated Authorities till March 5, 2022.
Thereafter, the department vide no DMRRR- ER/76/2021 dated July 12, 2022 followed by a reminder letter dated December 9, 2022, after approval of competent authority requested the Ministry of Home Affairs to extend the timeline of the scheme.
Consequent to this, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Department of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh Affairs, vide its communication No. 15030/99/2020-J&K dated May 3, 2023, conveyed extension to the timeline of the scheme “Central assistance for one time settlement of displaced families of POJK (1947) and Chhamb (1965 & 1971) settled in the Jammu & Kashmir” from March 31, 2022 to March 31, 2024 under the rehabilitation package approved by the union cabinet on November 30, 2016.
In a communiqué to the J&K Chief Secretary, the MHA had also asked the government of J&K to “complete the process of identifying all remaining eligible families of the scheme” and submit it (MHA) authenticated proposals immediately.
On October 9, 2019, the union cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved Inclusion of 5,300 DP families of Jammu & Kashmir-1947 which initially opted to move outside the (erstwhile) state of Jammu & Kashmir but later on returned and settled there, in the Rehabilitation Package approved by it (union cabinet) on November 30, 2016 for Displaced families of PoJK and Chhamb under the PM’s Development Package 2015 for Jammu & Kashmir.
The approval had enabled such DP families to become eligible to get one-time financial assistance of Rs 5.5 lakhs under the existing scheme, and in turn, also able to get some sustained income which the existing scheme was aimed at.
It is mentioned here that in the wake of the 1947 Pakistani aggression in J&K, 31,619 families migrated from Pakistan Occupied areas of J&K (PoJK) to the (erstwhile) state of J&K. Of these, 26,319 families settled in the state of J&K and 5300 families initially opted to move out of the state of J&K to other parts of the country. Further during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, 10,065 more families were displaced from Chhamb Niabat area. Of these 3,500 families were displaced during the 1965 war and 6565 families were displaced during the 1971 war.
The 36,384 displaced families covered under the package approved by the cabinet on November 30, 2016 included 26,319 displaced families from PoJK settled in J&K and 10,065 Displaced Families displaced from Chhamb Niabat area. The 5300 Displaced Persons’ (DP) families of PoJK which initially opted to move out of the state of J&K to other parts of the country were not included in the approved package.
In fact, the Prime Minister, during his visit to Jammu & Kashmir on November 7, 2015 had announced a development package in which there was a component of one-time Central Assistance of Rs 2000 Cr for rehabilitation package for 36,384 families displaced from PoK and Chhamb and settled in Jammu & Kashmir.
The proposed package was in continuation of a series of relief and rehabilitation packages extended by the Government of India or (erstwhile) state government of J&K from time to time in the past. Despite the several rehabilitation packages extended by both central and J&K government in the past by way of agricultural land, housing plots, houses and other facilities along with cash assistance, the Displaced Persons (DPs) of PoJK and Chhamb had been approaching the government time and again for payment of compensation against properties they were forced to part with due to war and hostilities.