The Centre has approved a Rs 2,000 crore development package for displaced people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) living in the country.
The package, proposed by the Home Ministry, will provide financial aid to 36,384 families, many of whom have been living in different areas of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts.
However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu & Kashmir constitution. The displaced people can cast their votes in Lok Sabha polls but not in the elections to Jammu and Kashmir assembly.
Each of these families will get around Rs 5.5 lakh as aid.
People receiving the government aid include those who were displaced during the India-Pakistan partition of 1947, and those who were displaced during wars between the two countries in 1965 and 1971.
Jammu and Kashmir Sharanarthi Action Committee (JKSAC), an organisation representing the displaced people of the PoK, has hailed the move.
JKSAC also said that the package of Rs 2,000 crore should not be seen as the final settlement as the total amount required to settle the displaced people of PoK was Rs 9,200 crore.
The Modi government had in January 2015 approved certain concessions for the refugees from West Pakistan settled in Jammu & Kashmir after considering the problems being faced by them.
The concessions include special recruitment drives for induction into paramilitary forces, equal employment opportunities in the state, admission for the children of refugees in Kendriya Vidyalayas, among others.
The state government in consultation with representatives of PoK refugees had worked out a package of Rs 25 lakhs to each family as one time settlement, besides recommending reservations and concessions to the wards of these displaced people.