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For relocation of Kashmiri Pandit staff, J&K redesignates their posts

With the posts being re-designated to the divisional level, employees can be transferred anywhere within the Kashmir or Jammu divisions — there are 10 districts in each division.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | Srinagar |
Updated: June 9, 2022 11:13:46 pm
Kashmiri Pandit employees shout slogans during a protest march over the killing of Rahul Bhat, at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. (PTI, file)

In line with its plan to move Kashmiri Pandit government staff to “safer locations” within the Valley following a spate of targeted killings, the J&K administration Wednesday approved re-designation of posts for employees working under the Prime Minister’s package from the district to the divisional level.

Officials said 5,928 employees are currently working under the PM package in J&K.

“With the posts being re-designated to the divisional level, employees can be transferred anywhere within the ten districts of the Kashmir divisions.”

The administrative council under Lt Governor Manoj Sinha met Wednesday and gave its nod to “promotion of PM package employees” with a view to “remove the bottleneck in career progression of employees.”

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The scheme, the administration said, “envisages maintaining a separate seniority for Kashmiri migrant employees appointed under the PM package, by respective appointing departments which will run parallel to the seniority of regular employees and will take effect from the date of appointment against the supernumerary posts under the PM package.”

The scheme was rolled out during the 2008-09 financial year for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley which included various incentives like housing, employment and transit accommodation. The employment component of the package extended employment to 6,000 eligible candidates by creating supernumerary posts in different departments. However, these posts were limited to employment of individuals within their home district.

An employee, who did not wish to be named in this report, said while this does not assuage security concerns, the move “does resolve issues with regard to promotions.” Additionally, employees whose spouses were restricted to posts in a different district can now seek transfers together.

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“Earlier, we would send our files for promotion and they would disregard it because these are not regular posts but special posts. With this, we can now get promotions within our departments,” the employee said.

Accordingly, the administrative council has sanctioned creation of “pre-facto supernumerary posts” at corresponding higher levels to pave way for timely career progression of Kashmiri migrant employees, by reducing the same posts at lower levels in the same ratio. However, these promotions will be based on seniority and eligibility requirements as per the recruitment rules.

The new structure will provide avenues for promotion to all PM package employees “as per eligibility and seniority.”

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Protests by employees erupted in May after a Kashmiri Pandit revenue department official was killed by militants inside his office in Budgam in central Kashmir. The Kashmir Divisional Commissioner ordered transfer of all such employees to district headquarters from the villages where they were posted.

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First published on: 09-06-2022 at 04:00:05 am

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