Unemployment a ticking time-bomb that can explode anytime in J&K: Tarigami

Srinagar: Asserting that unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir was a ticking time-bomb that can explode anytime, senior CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Thursday said that neither previous regimes nor the incumbent regime are serious to tackle this burgeoning problem in the state.

According to media reports, in just 15 days more than 1.5 lakh youth possessing post graduation or higher educational degrees have registered themselves with the state government as unemployed, he said.

Tarigami said the number could be much higher as time for registration was limited. ‘Then there are a huge number of unemployed people who have lesser or no qualifications. Then there are skilled and unskilled youth, who need jobs,’ he said.

He said according to an official report, unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir is higher than average National unemployment rate, with J&K at 24.6 per cent population in the age of (18-29 years) unemployed which is far more than All India unemployment rate of 13.2 per cent.

‘Woes of the educated unemployed youth are increasing with each passing day as their figure in Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing serious surge. As per the Labour Bureau, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India (GoI), Jammu Kashmir has very high unemployment rate and as per a survey conducted by the bureau in 2015-16, Jammu Kashmir has 72 unemployed persons per thousand, which means the number of unemployed youth in the state is over 9 lakh based on the 2011 census,’ he said. 

He said the employment status in the state is very bad as in the want of private sector, the youth have to rely on government jobs which are scarce, the government should take steps to tackle the problem and save our society from falling into the abyss of crisis. 

‘One of the main reasons for frustration and depression among youth is due to unemployment. There is deep relationship between poverty and unemployment. In many areas of Jammu and Kashmir both rural and urban sector, we see different types of poverty in society due to unemployment such as poor housing, poor infrastructure and poor health,’ he said. 

Nearly 10.35 per cent of the population falls under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category in the state with the rural areas holding more poor than the urban areas. The unemployment gives birth to political instability and youth lose faith in democratic values and peaceful means. They consider that government is worthless which fails to provide them work. The growing menace of corruption can be addressed by stopping the murder of merit; the deserving candidates should be selected in a free and fair process free from political and administration interventions, he said.

‘The increasing unemployment causes loss of human resources as well. The labourers in search of employment are virtually facing huge distress. Those labourers who get job are forced to work under adverse conditions of low wages,” Tarigami said.

‘Service sector can provide an opportunity for employment but lacks adequate support by the government. Government schemes are either not implemented on ground or are not being supported with adequate funds. To overcome the frustration and disillusionment among the youth, government must explore avenues for meaningful employment in the state. Any delay is fraught with serious consequences,’ he added.

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