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All Kashmir Pandits will be resettled in Valley by 2022: Indian home minister

India has set a deadline of year 2022 for the Kashmir Pandits to return to the Valley, the country’s home minister Amit Shah told the lower house of the parliament on Saturday.

Shah said that the Narendra Modi government has decided to resettle all displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the valley by 2022 along with creating 25,000 jobs for the people and train connectivity to the region.

India provides Rs 13,000 per month to the families of 44,000 Kashmiri Pandits who have relief cards. “The government also provides free ration,” he said, while replying to the discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill of 2021.

The bill which has now been passed by both house of the parliament will allow civil servants of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre to merge with other union territories, thus allowing India more control over the civil administration. 

He also claimed that “no one will lose their land in Jammu and Kashmir” as the government has enough land for development work. His remarks come amid India allowing its nationals to buy land in the disputed territory after the unilateral abrogation of special status of the Himalayan region.

“The biggest hurdle in the industry in Jammu and Kashmir was that they did not get land if they wanted to set up any industry there. After the withdrawal of (Art) 370, we changed the law of the land. Now the situation is such that the industries will be established inside Kashmir,” Shah claimed.

He said no major business house would invest in Jammu and Kashmir earlier, but after Article 370 was revoked, many businessmen are investing there.

The right wing Modi government had in August 2019 revoked Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the region into two Union territories. The move had provoked outrage from the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party and the pro-freedom camp in Kashmir.

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