PaK, West Pakistan Refugees Qualify For Citizenship Rights: Sitaraman

PaK, West Pakistan Refugees Qualify For Citizenship Rights: Sitaraman

BY: Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitaraman Tuesday said that with the rollback of Article 370 and the re-organisation of erstwhile J&K State into Union Territory, the Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) and West Pakistan Refugees have qualified for citizenship rights.

In her Budget speech in Lok Sabha today, the Union Finance Minister said that with the abrogation of Article 370 and Re-organisation of State into Union Territory, the PaK and West Pakistan Refugees have qualified for citizenship rights which were denied to them since 1947. “They will now get all the rights due to every citizen of this country. The Government shall take care of their rehabilitation needs,” she said.

About the relief and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, the Union Finance Minister said that under the Prime Ministers Package for Return and Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants to Valley various incentives like housing, employment, transit accommodation, waiver on loan etc. are provided for mitigating their sufferings. “This package envisages employment to 15000 unemployed youth as an incentive to return to valley and this process is continuing since its inception. The Government is sensitive about this issue and adequate measures shall be taken for honorable return of Kashmiri Migrants to their ancestral places,” she said,As per KNO.

She said that an allocation of Rs 679 crore has been made for salary, cash assistance, food grains and civic action programme for Kashmiri migrants for the year 2020-21 which is  Rs 319 crore more than the previous year.

Education Sector:  The Union Finance Minister Rs 300 crore is being provisioned for construction/completion of colleges. “More than 52 schools shall provide vocational education for improving employability and to reduce the dropout rate at secondary level. 175 Information Communication Technology (ICT) labs & 224 Computer Aided Learning Centres (CAL) for Technology Mediated Learning (TML) and promotion of Information Communication Technology/Computer Aided Learning Centres (ICT/CAL) shall be established for providing exposure to school going children to modern technologies under digital initiative,” Sitaraman said.

She said that for School and Higher Education Sector an allocation of Rs 2,392 crore has been made for the year 2020-21 which is Rs 1,000 crore more than the previous years’ budget allocation—(KNO)