Jammu: In order to bring Kashmiri Pundits back to the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah directed authorities concerned to formulate a proposal for enhancement of financial assistance for constructing their houses.

Chairing a meeting of the Apex Advisory Committee for Kashmiri migrants here, the Chief Minister directed the state's Revenue and Rehabilitation Department to undertake a series of measures for repatriation of Kashmiri Pundits.

"We know the return of migrants call for a good residential accommodation for them. Those who want to return should get suitable financial assistance to build their houses in the Valley," he said.

Omar said the proposal would be discussed and cleared by the Cabinet and the issue taken up with the Centre accordingly.

The Chief Minister also directed the Revenue department to start a 'Kashmir Darshan' tour for migrant students, adding priority in the selection should be given to those visiting the Valley for the first time.

"This will help them interact with students and learn different aspects and significance of the Valley," he said. Noting that the security scenario has positively changed in the region during last few years, he said the return of about 1,500 migrant youth to the Valley in search of jobs had further boosted confidence.

The Chief Minister directed officials to set in motion the process of creation of 3,000 additional posts for Kashmiri migrant students.

Speaking at the meeting, Commissioner Secretary, Revenue, B A Runiyal said those migrants who are registered under the relief category will continue to receive assistance for two years after their return to the Valley.

"Their school-going children will be entitled to a scholarship of Rs 750 every month. Migrants who wish to return and want to set up income generating units will be entitled for a cash assistance of Rs 5 lakh, of which Rs 2.50 lakh will be as subsidy and the rest recoverable in easy instalments," he said.

Migrants will also be entitled to cash assistance of up to Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh for re-cultivation on agriculture and horticulture respectively, said Runiyal.

"Those migrants who had loan outstanding as on January 1, 1990, when they were forced to leave the Valley at the height of militancy, will be entitled for waiver of interest," he added.

(JPN/Agencies)