Jammu: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), positively responding to J&K government’s request, has extended the timeline of the 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.
Extension is aimed to facilitate those displaced families which could not avail the benefit of the scheme within the deadline for any valid reason.
In a communiqué to the J&K Chief Secretary, the MHA has 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.
It has also cautioned that the scheme will not continue beyond “sunset date” of March 31, 2024.
MHA’s approval has come after repeated request letters of J&K government sent to it (MHA) for considering extension of timeline of the scheme. Extension has been given to the scheme “Central assistance for one time settlement of Displaced families of PoJK (1947) and Chhamb (1965 and 1971} settled in Jammu and Kashmir” within the approved outlay of Rs 2000 Cr, under the rehabilitation package approved by the union cabinet on November 30, 2016.
“Please refer to Government of J&K's letters No DMRRR-ER/76/2021 dated March 14, 2022; June 8, 2022; June 14, 2022; June 23, 2022 and July 12, 2022 wherein a request was made to this Ministry for considering extension of timeline of the scheme. It is informed that the competent authority in the Ministry of Home Affairs after considering the request, has approved the proposal to extend the timeline of the scheme for one time settlement of Displaced Persons families of PoJK (1947) and Chhamb (1965 & 1971) settled in Jammu and Kashmir from March 31, 2022 to March 31, 2024, within the approved outlay of Rs 2000 Cr,” read the communiqué sent to the Chief Secretary, J&K by the Under Secretary to the Government of India, MHA, Department of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs.
“It is also informed that the scheme shall not continue beyond the sunset date of March 31, 2024. The Government of J&K is accordingly requested to complete the process of identifying all remaining eligible families of the scheme and to furnish authenticated proposals to this Ministry immediately,” it added.
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 who 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.
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.
Meanwhile, BJP Refugee Cell (PoJK) expressed sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Manoj Sinha for extending the timeline of scheme for financial assistance of Rs 5.5 lakh for displaced persons of PoJK and Chhamb for one more year.