A delegation of West Pakistan Refugee Action Committee, led by its President Labha Ram Gandhi, met the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in New Delhi yesterday and discussed compensation related and other issues with him.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the Union Government is in constant touch with the J&K State Government and instructions had been issued to simplify the procedure related to identification and other formalities to the maximum extent, so that the disbursement of compensation of Rs.5.5 lakh per family to West Pakistan Refugee (WPR) population could be undertaken at the earliest and could be completed without undue delay.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, even today he spoke with the concerned officers and it will be ensured that wherever a family was not able to produce documents mandated in the existing rules, a separate inquiry could be conducted by the concerned Deputy Commissioner to establish the claim of the said family and based on the information obtained and recorded by the Deputy Commissioner, the family could be declared as being West Pakistan Refugee and therefore eligible for the issue of relief / compensation accordingly.
It has also been decided, said Dr Jitendra Singh, to appoint a Nodal Officer for closer coordination and prompt disposal of the issues related to the refugees. In this regard, he said, the Union Government has issued instructions to expedite the process of the disbursement of Rs.2,000 crore allocated in favour of PoJK refugees.
Labha Ram Gandhi was appreciative of the Central Government for its concern towards the issues of this large section of population which remains deprived of citizenship rights even after having been settled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir for the last 70 years. He said, it was for the first time that a government at the Centre had taken certain practical initiatives to address their issues and in this case, he referred to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs Order / Official Memo dated March 16, 2018, providing for one time compensation of Rs.5.5 lakh per family to the families of West Pakistan Refugees.
Gandhi was also appreciative of the close cooperation and support received from Dr Jitendra Singh with whom they have been holding regular meetings in recent times. He said, it was the personal intervention of Dr Jitendra Singh which made it possible to simplify procedures and formalities for disbursement of compensation.