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News and Events
Jammu (India) December 12, 2010

Report by Raman Raina

The National Conference led Government has plans of giving one time exception while filling 3,000 posts under the Prime Minister's employment package for Kashmiri migrants by filling all the posts on open merit basis instead of adhering to reserving some posts for the scheduled caste and the Scheduled Tribe. This one time exception is being given since there are no families among the Kashmiri Pandits that fall in the category of scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribe.

Stating this Minister for Revenue and Relief, Raman Bhalla, said that a memo would be put before the cabinet approval. He said that that memo was to be submitted to the cabinet as early as possible so that it approved the one time exception facilitating the Government to fill all the 3,000 posts in the open merit category. As per the state constitution it is mandatory for the Government to reserve posts for the scheduled castes and scheduled Tribes.

In reply to a question Bhalla said that he would take up with the centre again the issue of keeping the remaining 3,000 posts in the central sector because the state Government had no resources for meeting the wage bill of 3,000 employees. He explained that under the Prime Minister's employment package for the Kashmiri migrants 6,000 posts had to be created, 3,000 under the state and another 3,000 in the central sector.

He said that the appointment letters had been issued to 1800 candidates and others too would receive the appoint orders shortly. He said that a request had been sent to the central Government to include the remaining 3,000 posts in the central sector too. "I am hopeful the centre will concede our demand,"Bhalla said.

In reply to another question the Minister said that out of 1800 candidates, who had been issued appointment order, over 3, 00 candidates had already joined their duties in Kashmir. He said others were preparing to travel to Srinagar within next 10 days. He said that he had visited some of the residential blocks constructed for the lodging of the migrant employees. During his recent visit to Anantnag he was satisfied with the lodging and boarding facilities for the migrant employees.

Bhalla said that he discussed with the Deputy Commissioners and police authorities the issue of security to the migrant employees and he was happy to find employees belonging to the majority community welcoming migrant employees with open arms.

He said those who had joined their duties and those who were to join the places of their posting had given a lie to the campaign launched by some vested interests against the lack of security for the migrant employees. He hoped that once the centre agreed to include 3,000 posts in the central sector more Pandit youths will get a chance to serve in Kashmir, their homeland, thereby marking the beginning of the return of the displaced people to the valley.
Raman Raina is Shehjar's Chief Photo Journalist based in Jammi, India.
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