The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a Rs 2,000-crore aid package for people displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, PTI reported. The package proposed by the Home Ministry will provide financial aid to 36,384 families, many of whom have been living in parts of Jammu and Kashmir since after Independence.
A senior government official said that each of the identified families will get Rs 5.5 lakh in aid. While some of those who will receive the government aid were displaced during the India-Pakistan partition of 1947, others were displaced during wars between the two countries in 1965 and 1971.
News of the package was first reported in August, with officials then saying the Home Ministry would place it before the Cabinet for approval. While most of the people identified are allowed to exercise their right to vote in national elections, they have yet to be identified as permanent residents of the state under the terms of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.
The approval for the aid package came as relations between Islamabad and New Delhi continue to deteriorate because of cross-border militancy and ceasefire violations. On Tuesday, seven soldiers – two Army officers and five jawans – were killed in a militant attack on an Army artillery unit in the town of Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir. The attack came two months after the Indian Army launched surgical strikes on militant camps along the Line of Control on September 29.