Kashmir’s young and unemployed angry over retirement age enhancement

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to enhance retirement age of its employees to 60 years from existing 58 has triggered a debate among young and unemployed in the Valley.
Maariya Bashir, who holds a Master’s in Business Administration, believes that such a step will only add to unemployment. “I fail to understand why government increased the retirement age of the employees. Instead they should be doing the opposite, keeping in view the growing unemployment,” she said.
Abid Shafi, an undergraduate student of Commerce at Islamia College Srinagar, said, “I strongly oppose this decision. It means that people like me will have to wait for two more years for jobs.”
If reports are to be believed, there are around 600,000 underemployed/unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, thousands of people are working with government on daily basis and contractual basis.
Ridiculing the hike in retirement age decision, Zuhaib Bhat, a law graduate, said that youngsters like him “can do comparatively better than the senior fellows by bringing in fresh approach over things.”
“At 60, a person really gets old. The preference of weak and old over young and dynamic is totally unfair. It is injustice with young job seekers like me. Why is that whatever happens in Kashmir, it’s only the youth who are at the receiving end,” Bhat told Kashmir Reader.
Many youth also believe that hiking the retirement age “will serve as a helping hand to encourage corruption in Jammu and Kashmir,” which is billed as the second largest corrupt state in India.
“The move will embolden corrupt and tainted bureaucrats who have left no stone unturned to loot the exchequer. The authorities are making youngsters suffer more and playing spoilsport with the career of freshers”, said Saiqa Mirza, a government employee.