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Kashmiri Pandits urge Centre to increase relief, job opportunities

Expressing optimism, he hoped that the BJP government would address their demands

Kashmiri Pandits urge Centre to increase relief, job opportunities

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JAMMU: The displaced Kashmiri Pandits on Friday urged the Centre to increase their monthly relief amount and allocate a new employment package featuring 5,000 jobs in the Kashmir Valley during the upcoming Budget session.

A Kashmiri Pandit family, lacking any government employee as its member, currently receives ''meagre'' Rs 13,000 per month for sustenance without any enhancement during the last one decade. The families with government employees, however, do not receive such relief.

''I request the central government to keep a separate amount for the Kashmiri Pandit community in the forthcoming Budget. I will press for implementation of two things and will urge the Finance Ministry and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha ji. There should be enhancement of relief amount to the community as early as possible in this Budget session,'' Head of Kashmiri Pandit Volunteers (KPV) Vikram Kaul told PTI.

Expressing optimism, he hoped that the BJP government, despite a perceived lack of significant initiatives for the community, would address their demands. ''We had high expectations from the BJP. We view Modi ji as our guide. However, tangible progress has yet to materialise. We remain hopeful for a substantial enhancement of relief, surpassing previous allocations,'' Kaul said.

The Kashmiri Pandits also pressed for a renewed employment package tailored for the community in the valley under the prime minister's package in 2010. ''The second demand is to provide a minimum of 5,000 youth jobs in Kashmir under a special package following the model of KP (Kashmiri Pandits employees working in the valley. Unemployment within our community is a significant concern here,'' he added.

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