Editorial: Unemployment issue getting murkier

With nearly six lakh educated youth striving to get employment, the state’s response should have been much better than what it has shown over the years. Even the figures shown in the last economic survey reveal that unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir is higher than the average national unemployment rate.

Interestingly, Jammu and Kashmir is having 24.6 percent unemployed population in the age group of (18-29 years) which is far more than the All India unemployment rate of 13.2 percent.

However, the state has not been able to respond to the crises in a measured and calculated way. The reasons can be manifold. One being the state’s over indulgence with security related issues as the government during the past two years has not been able to devote much time and efforts to other issue confronting the state.

 One wonders as to why the government’s response to the already announced schemes to provide relief to the unemployed youth is pathetic. The government’s much talked about  Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme is one such example which can be quoted here.

The PDP-BJP coalition Government made great media hype of the scheme when it was floated nearly two years back.

The scheme was necessitated by growing demand for development and Government’s inability to cope with all the demands owing to lack of infrastructure. Therefore, attention was mounted on raising, improving and extending infrastructure in as many ways as was possible.

For this purpose, the Government decided to co-opt private sector and thus came into being the PPP scheme. Under this scheme, as publicized by the Government, various private entrepreneurs were expected to come forward and participate in the developmental mission of the country.

This would have ensured that thousands of young and educated minds would have got an opportunity to get involved in the development process which would have in turn resulted in providing employment to them as well. Besides, a sense of involvement would also have crept in among the youth.

But frankly speaking, the scheme never took off in its true spirit. No sign of bridging infrastructure deficit in crucial sectors is in sight and the scheme has failed to become a reality despite lapse of nearly two years due to non-serious approach at various levels.

The Coalition Government has utterly failed to run the scheme and make it result oriented. At the time of floating the scheme the Finance Minister had identified 10 key sectors like roads, tourism, housing, urban development, sports, technical education, health, horticulture, industries and mining for implementation of PPP mode Moreover, the Finance Minister listed sector wise projects identified for taking up under Public Private Partnership.

All this has fizzled out and no infrastructural development has been made so far. The Government has failed to make PPP Cell in the Finance Department fully functional by deputing special manpower so as to guide and help the departments in formulation of project proposals for taking up under PPP framework.

It is ironic that since December 2015 only three proposals-one each from the Roads and Buildings, Tourism and Estates Departments were received by officers of the Finance Department for consideration under PPP. However, none of these proposals could be cleared for placement before the Steering Committee because of ambiguities.

 

 

 

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