A Rs 500-crore package for rebuilding the lives of Kashmiri migrants was among the slew of measures announced in this year's Union budget for Jammu and Kashmir. Presenting the Budget for 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that a fund of Rs 500 crore will be earmarked for providing support to Kashmiri migrants for "rebuilding their lives".
The Narendra Modi government has flagged rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, who left the Valley after the onset of militancy in 1990, as its priority and, ahead of the budget, a series of meetings was held between officials of the state and the Centre.At present, a total of 60,452 families of Kashmiri migrants are registered in the country, of which 38,119 are in Jammu, 19,338 in Delhi and 1,995 in other states.
The Finance Minister also announced the setting up of an Indian Institute of Technology in Jammu.
The NDA government allocated Rs 500 crore for the creation of five more IITs and Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). While the new IITs are to come up in Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgrah, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, the five new IIMs will be built in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra.
Making an observation that Jammu and Kashmir had a lot of sporting talent which was not finding expression due to inadequate facilities, the Finance Minister said that a sum of Rs 200 crore is being provided for upgrading indoor and outdoor stadiums to international standards in Jammu and in Kashmir Valley.
Jaitley also proposed to launch a Pashmina Promotion Programme and a programme for the development of other crafts of J&K with a sum of Rs 50 crore earmarked for the same in this year's budget. Also, Ladakh of J&K was included by the Finance Minister in a proposal -- which also covers Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu -- for taking up Ultra Mega Solar Power projects with Rs 500 crore allocated for the purpose.
The Budget 2014 indicated that the prime minister is making an effort to be seen positively by the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as there are sops not only for the Kashmiri Pandits, but for the entire state.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has followed up with the promise in his budget announcement that a programme for Kashmiri migrants will be started with Rs 500 crore which shows the commitment of the government to the issue. Read more