The Jammu and Kashmir administrative council on Wednesday approved a scheme for a separate seniority list for Kashmiri Pandits employed under the prime minister’s rehabilitation package from 2008. They will now be entitled to promotions like regular government employees.

Earlier, Kashmiri Pandits got fixed posts under the package.

In 2008, the Union government rolled out a rehabilitation package for Kashmiri migrants who left the Valley in the 1990s after the rise of militancy. The package, among many things, envisaged giving 6,000 jobs to migrants and creating additional posts.

As of now, 5,928 persons have been employed under the package, The Indian Express quoted unidentified officials as saying.

The scheme announced on Wednesday will “remove bottlenecks in the career progression of employees” appointed under the package, a press release from Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s office said. However, the promotions will be based on seniority and eligibility requirements as per recruitment rules, the administration added.

Jammu and Kashmir also re-designated all posts under the package as divisional positions. Earlier, these were district-level positions.

This will mean that employees under the package can now be posted in any district of the Kashmir Valley. Earlier, they could only be posted in the district where they lived before having migrated elsewhere.

The Union Territory on Wednesday said that the new structure will “provide avenues for in-situ [situated in the original place] promotion” to all employees under the package.

“The implementation of the scheme will be monitored at the highest level to ensure that the eligible employees avail the benefits of the scheme at the earliest,” the lieutenant governor’s office said.

Jammu and Kashmir announced the scheme after a spate of targeted killings by suspected militants were reported in the Valley.

Since January, at least 19 targeted killings, including those of police officials, teachers and village heads, have been reported in Kashmir. Out of these, 13 were civilians – six were Hindus and seven were Kashmiri Muslims. Many of them were shot point-blank in their homes or workplaces.

On June 2, dozens of rehabilitated Kashmiri Pandit employees accused the administration of not allowing them to leave the Valley. This was after they gave a 24-hour deadline to the government to arrange for their migration to Jammu from Kashmir.

Opposition parties have accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Centre of not doing enough to stop killings of civilians in the Valley.