Monday, January 26, 2009

Tackling the Issue of Unemployment

One of the biggest challenges that the present government of the state is facing is the problem of unemployment of educated youth. Prior to elections almost all political parties had vowed to induct youth into government service with wide ranging promises made by them to employ 70,000 to 4,00,000 youth. However to what extent these tall promises on the pretext of which youth were lured towards electronic voting machines and were made to vote in their favour, would be fulfilled remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, induction into government sector alone is no solution to this problem bereft with very huge dimensions since every year large number of youth with degrees keep coming out of various colleges and universities of the state. Even if a few thousand youth get employed, the problem is likely to surface again in the same proportion after a gap of couple of years. Therefore the solution lies not just in filling up the existing or creating a few thousand fresh vacancies in govt. departments but in following:

1. Industrialization of the State
2. Entrepreneurship development
3. Imparting skill based technical education to the youth
4. Orientation of youth towards self-employment
5. Incentives, huge loans and subsidies to potential investors
6. Luring national and international investors towards the state
7. Development of infrastructure for industrialization
8. Augmention of necessary facilities like power supply, transportation and financial support.
9. Facilities for necessary training and marketing of manufacturing goods.
10.Identification of viable commercial activities and making raw material available.


Some of the investment opportunities as identified by the J&K State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) are as under:

  • Food Processing
    Agro based industries
    Floriculture
    Information Technology
    Electronics and precision engineering
    Handloom and handicrafts
    Sericulture and silk industry
    Textiles and readymade garments
    Live stock based industry
    Leather and leather goods
    Sports goods industry
    Processing of gems and Precious Stones
    Selective mining projects and mineral based industry
    Green House (Ladakh)


FICCI has made wide-ranging suggestions to beef up five potential areas of investment, namely, Horticulture, Handicrafts & Handlooms, Tourism, IT and Biotechnology. According to FICCI, Horticulture was the bulwark of rural economy in the State which produces 10 lakh tonnes of apples per annum besides other fruits like pears, cherry, plums, apricots, with an annual turnover of Rs. 300 crore and forex earnings of over Rs. 80 crore annually. To give a boost to investment in Horticulture, FICCI has suggested provision of proper marketing facilities to the cultivators to ensure sustained employment and income, setting of Export Promotion Zones to promote export of items like strawberry, mushroom & cumin seed, promotion of development of growers association that can quantify the quality of the product into Grade A, Grade B, etc, initiatives for development of new varieties of fruits like kiwi fruit, wild apricot, black cherry, broccoli and mushroom and agreement with airlines to transport cargo from Leh, Srinagar & Jammu to centers of consumption like Delhi, Chandigarh & Mumbai.

FICCI has also noted that the Handicrafts & Handloom sector has already proved its worth by its vast employment and revenue generating potential in the State. The sector does not consume scarce resources, nor does it cause pollution and is environment friendly. The investment opportunities, in this sector include setting up of spinning mills to spin bulk quantity of good quality yarn, setting up of dyeing, calendaring and finishing facilities for woolens, and marketing of haute couture items like pashmina shawls and accessories. FICCI has suggested a five-fold approach for this sector: These include improvement in the productivity of weavers through enhancement of skills, introduction of more efficient looms & other related equipment, widening of market access of the handloom products produced in the state through effective marketing, focussing on product diversification and new designs, development of a cluster approach for design development, market assistance & production processes and focusing on brand promotion of the Kashmir handicrafts, product development and holding of exhibitions in international market.

In the field of Tourism, FICCI has stated that J&K was endowed with natural beauty of snow-clad mountains, lakes, streams and rare flora & fauna. While the Hindu shrines in Jammu, the Sufi shrines in Kashmir and the Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh make J&K ideal for Pilgrim Tourism, the State offers other attractions such as adventure tourism, ski tourism, golf tourism, and eco tourism. FICCI has suggested the following:
1. Declare Srinagar airport as an international airport and make it a charter destination
2. Some of the unexplored tourist destinations like Wardwan Valley in Kishtwar, Zanskar Valley, Pangong / Tsomoriri Lakes, Nubra Valley, Gurez, Telel, Bungas can be exploited fully by using feeder air services or even helicopters
3. Gondolas / Cable cars & other Ropeway systems in different tourist areas should be developed as already done in Gulmarg
4. The Patnitop complex needs to be upgarded & refurbished given the large tourist inflows it attracts from the neigbouring states

In Information Technology, FICCI notes that the State has acquired skills in various fields, most prominently in the IT & Engineering sectors. It has over 10,000 highly trained and skilled professionals available for employment, a Software Technology park has already been developed in Srinagar with Central assistance, having adequate bandwidth & connectivity and an Electronic Industrial Estate has been set up at Rajbagh in Srinagar. FICCI’s suggestions in IT include:

1. The talent pool present in the state needs to be groomed – Establish a technical university on the lines of Indian Institute of Information technology (IIIT)
2. Encourage local youth to set up their own units by the provision of soft loans by J&K bank, SIDCO etc
3. Ensure uninterrupted supply of power to the IT units
4. To give a boost to the sector IT can be used in new areas like banking, e-commerce, e-governance etc
5.To attract potential investors like the NRIs, government should open websites giving information about the investment opportunities in the state, tax concessions & various incentives offered, potential markets etc.

In Biotechnology, the chamber notes that J&K was a repository of herbal plants, medicinal plants & genetic materials from high altitude herbs holds immense potential for biotechnology sector and some infrastructure in the state is already present for carrying out R&D, for example, the Agriculture University of Jammu & Kashmir, regional research laboratory & the field research laboratory, Leh. The State also possesses rich reserves of resources such as fruits, medicinal & aromatic plants, forest produce, ornamental plants, livestock etc. To attract investment, in this vital sector, FICCI suggests encouragement to private research initiatives in hybridization, micro-propagation, tissue culture and other biotechnological applications in horticulture to introduce plants which have a short gestation period, development of infrastructure for biotechnology research, promotion of Ladakh region since it provides excellent soil & climate for seed production, and encouragement to the use of biotechnology to introduce new and improved cattle breeds.

8 comments:

  1. Nuclear Flashpoint Kashmir01 February, 2009 22:08

    UNEMPLOYMENT
    Editorial, Daily Greater Kashmir dated Feb. 1st, 2009
    Rhetoric is not an answer to the problems confronting the state. The past many years were marked by lots of political bamboozles and rhetoric and nothing substantial was done to address the problems facing the common man. One of the gravest problems confronting the state is that of the educated unemployed. If the figures made available by the government are authentic the number of educated unemployed has touched colossal figure of three hundred thousand and the number of semi-employed is higher. True, the Jammu and Kashmir government employs four hundred thousand persons and every year it pays Rs. 5000 Crores as salary to its employs. It is a colossal figure keeping in view over all resource generating capacity of the state but seen in right perspective this problem is the creation of myopic and bad policies of the various governments. It is a typical pot-calling-kettle-black story during the past fifty years. The catchphrase with most of the opposition parties in the state in the showdowns with party in power has been ‘non-productive expenditure’. While every party has been blaming the other of incurring expenditures on non-productive schemes and projects, none of the party in the state can claim of having expended on building of infrastructure required for the growth and development of the State. The fact of matter is that not only has the state’s dependability on imports from outside multiplied but the state has also lost many of its industries. Many industries that hummed with activity before the 1947 have fallen silent. The state silk industry that earned international fame in late nineteenth and early twentieth century could be classical example of the apathy of the governments towards the industrial sectors in the state. None of the governments that came into power in the state has ever made an attempt to create infrastructure for sustainable development of the state instead they pursued populist policies bordering political corruption. Six years back when the Congress-PDP coalition came into power in the state it promised providing of government to one member of a family and in his last year in office the former chief minister had promised seventy thousands jobs but none of the governments at any point of time came up with schemes indicating where from expenditure would be met. The truth is that no government ever worked for putting the state economy on a firm pedestal. Instead of asking the specialist to find ways and means for invigorating the state economy it has again chosen to depend upon the generalists for finding an answer to the economic problem. The new government is again talking of inviting big industrial houses to set up their units in the state; it seems that the government in power has not learnt from the past experiences that it was not going to work. It is a hard reality when twenty seven years back Farooq Abdullah took over as Chief Minister he made the then Bombay as his second home for inviting big industrial houses to invest in Kashmir. He had one to one meetings and conference with all big business barons and offered them bagful incentives but none came forward on the pretext of ‘political uncertainty’ in the state. It seems unlikely that any big industrial house making any meaningful investments in the state today when situation as compared to 1982 is very fragile. The government instead of believing in big business coming to its rescue by investing in the state should engage experts for exploiting the local resources and talent for putting the state economy on a strong base- and in strong economy lies the answer to the problem of unemployment.

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  2. Nuclear Flashpoint Kashmir02 February, 2009 03:31

    Industry capable to absorb skilled rural youth: Slathia
    ‘Explore beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, floriculture, MAPs industries’
    02 February, 2009 Font size:
    Etalaat News Service

    Jammu,February 01: Minister for Industries and Commerce, Labour and Employment, Surjit Singh Slathia has said that efforts would be made to absorb our skilled rural youth in the industrial sector and assured that various schemes on self-employment ventures would be activated to arrest the menace of unemployment in the State.

    He was speaking at a public meeting at Abtal village, in Vijaypur. The Minister said that the Government is committed to identify job avenues for our youth, adding that creation of 18 new polytechnics in the uncovered districts of the State will go a long way in honing the skills of our human resource and enhance their employability in the private sector. He also assured the people that jobs for rural youth in Government sector is a top priority and efforts will be made to curb the menace of unemployment.

    Asking the youth to explore the avenues in rural industry like beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, floriculture, aromatic and medicinal plants and other agro-based industries, Slathia said that all DICs (District Industries Centres) will be asked to conduct special awareness camps for the rural youth. He also asked them to benefit from Centrally-sponsored schemes falling under the MSME Development Institute of the Government of India. These schemes, he said include special incentives in the form of subsidy and tax exemptions on raw material imported and finished products exported to outside the State.

    Elaborating on the issue of employment, the Minister said that the Government would also organize a special recruitment drive for border area youth in Police and paramilitary forces.

    He explained that government has launched various schemes for the youth which include special incentives in the form of subsidy and tax exemptions on raw material and machinery etc and youth should come forward and take benefits of these schemes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tanvir Sadiq - Kashmir As I see it10 February, 2009 05:24

    Saturday, January 17, 2009
    Blueprint for dealing with unemployment in Kashmir by Tanvir Sadiq
    Some wise man once observed that if you give a poor man some bread, you feed him for one day. But if you teach the poor man how to grow food, you feed a whole generation. I could be paraphrasing this saying incorrectly but all I want to accomplish is convey the message. Same is true in dealing with the issue of unemployment in Kashmir. Generating more government jobs is not the solution. What we need is some serious aid from other parts of India and overseas in training our youth in areas such as technical trades, intensive agriculture, electronics and computers, and modern construction techniques.


    The purpose of education should not be to simply churn out graduates with worthless degrees who contribute very little to society, and whose only goal in life is to procure a civil service job. I personally know hundreds if not thousands of youth with multiple PHd's and yet they are unemployed, greying in the hopes of getting a foothold into the public service. It is not their fault that today's society has very little to offer them in terms of employment or means of earning a living for all their hard work and dedication in earning their degrees. It is the fault of our education system for not having the vision to foresee that the ultimate goal of any education should be to secure the future of the student economically and not to add uncertainty. Sadly, today's education system has failed in this regard.


    The most stark difference in the education system of other countries and our Indian system of education is that our focus here is on generating more degree holders without consideration for the interests and capabilities of the students. The students trust the education system and work endless hours to finally pass the grueling exams and after three or four years of treading the tortuous path of education, they finally make it only to be added to the sad statistics of unemployed youth in Kashmir. It is for no fault of theirs. This is the responsibility of the government to devise strategies for the best possible utilization of the state's manpower, and I am certain things will change in this direction in the near future.


    The current polytechnic colleges in Kashmir should be our blueprint to work with. My mother is one of the instructors in the women's polytechnic therefore I can talk about this with authority. These polytechnics are a phenomenal success and without a doubt the students who pass from these colleges are in a much better state in terms of being self-employed or being employed in some private firms. They fare much better than my friends holding multiple degrees in arts, history, or physics from degree colleges. Why this discrepancy? because these polytechnic colleges took the initiative of imparting education that helps meet the student's immediate needs in terms of being employable right after completing their courses. Sadly, there is a cap on how many students these polytechnic colleges can enroll and therefore many students are left out.


    I suggest that the government put all resources in action and open up polytechnic colleges so that all students, whether old or young are able to enroll in them to seek valuable applied knowledge. By 'applied knowledge' I mean courses that will meet their immediate needs, courses such as "automobile repairing" "welding" "tailoring" "computer network" "computer repair and maintenance" "cellular repairing" "horticulture" "crop disease diagnosis" "carpentry" "masonry" and the list goes on. We all are aware of that these courses are offered in all community colleges in other countries and has helped ease the unemployment numbers in these countries.


    We also know that apart from the two polytechnic colleges in Kashmir, there are no other institutions where students can learn about these applied skills without being charged an arm and a leg for learning these courses. For instance, a student is charged ten thousand rupees at a private computer centre just for learning basic computer skills. This scares away many students from seeking applied skills and thus the cycle of dearth of skilled manpower continues.


    If unconventional courses such as "intensive agriculture" or "green house production" are taught in Kashmir on a regular basis with the help of aid from overseas leaders in this field such as experts from Holland, it could jump start an altogether unique industry in Kashmir. Remember it doesn't necessarily take an million dollar investment to start an industry. Kashmiris have the skill and the diligence to learn and innovate. All we need is a jumpstart.
    Tanvir Sadiq

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  4. Kashmir Crisis Blog10 February, 2009 05:27

    @Tanvir Sadiq
    I greatly appreciate your vision but, sorry to say, the blue-print provided by you is a half-baked half-pie.Just opening polytechnic colleges is not an answer to the monster of unemployment. Where in your opinion will the polytechnic pass-outs go in absence of adequate industrial development in the valley. In the present scenario they will have to just open up new shops and kiosks in the already conjested streets and markets of Kashmir.

    India has been pursuing its policy of what the economists term as a "DEPENDENCE SYNDROME" in Kashmir. India has been funding us in a very tactful manner over the years. They invest in areas like hydroelectricity which will ultimately benefit none else than India itself or else in Anganwadi Centre whose workers have to ultimately rely on centre for their petty salaries. Their game plan is to keep Kashmiris always dependent upon central funds. They don't let us stand upon our own feet, they don't let us generate our own income and income for our brotheren too by opening our own manufacturing units. They provide us crores in the form of wages but nothing much for our industrialization and economic self-reliance. That is the reason why most of our youth are unemployed and craving for government employment because there are hardly any opportunities in private sector.

    Besides education at polytechnics, our higher education too needs to be more professional and industry oriented. We have to enable our pupil to earn degrees that are saleable in the free economy markets and capable of facing the challenges of globalization. Our MCAs and MBAs get some or the other job, but most of our M.Scs M.Coms and M.As suffer on account of lack of professional skills.

    Polytechnic colleges only offer diploma level courses after matric or 10+2. We need to impart graduate and post-graduate level professional courses too in our higher education institutions like colleges and universities. Unplanned explosion of education and opening up new colleges and universities without adequate infrastructure, faculty and other facilities in place, that has been the hallmark of the previous regime has to be done away with.

    Most importantly India has to shun its policy of "Dependency" in Kashmir and allow, promote and foster liberal industrialization besides entrepreneurship development. Entrepreneurship development courses have to be offered to our general science, commerce and arts graduates in sectors like tourism developement, herbal drug cultivation, food processing, electronics and communication technology, modern agricultural, floricultural and horticultural practices etc. We need to open more and more institutes of technology and impart technical courses at grad and post grad level to our budding entrepreneurs.

    Present government has to develop an ambience of industrial development and entrepreneurship. It has to get rid of hurdles and hiccups existing at present in the way of entrepreneurship development. It has to lure national and international investors and open up vistas for their manufacturing bases in the valley. That is the key to solving our problem of unemployment. All other measures like economic packages, recruitment in police forces and other depts will be just a cosmetic treatment to the problem. Wanted to write more, but due to constraints of time and space am concluding at that.

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  5. @Kashmir crisis
    thankyou for the detailed comment. I agree with some of the points you raised put entirely disagree with the statemment that the central government is out there to keep Kashmiris dependent upon central aid.

    I would like to engage in an argument regarding this but common sense tells me that if the central government is spending hundreds of crores in entrepreneurship schemes in the state, they are serious in helping build our infrstructure. I agree that the state government has to devise bettwe sttrategies so that the money is well spent.

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  6. Kashmir Crisis Blog10 February, 2009 05:29

    @Tanvir Sadiq
    You are utterly mistaken to believe that New Delhi has been pumping hundreds of crores of rupees to foster entrepreneurship schemes and for building our infrastructure. That is the biggest joke I have ever heard. I only feel pity about the ignorance of Kashmiriris like you, or else your loyalty towards India is making you brush aside the hard realities we Kashmiris have been faced with vis-a-vis central funding enegma. Since it will be unwise to talk without facts and figures, I wish to present a few of them if only they could open up minds of ill-informed people like you whose thinking is so small and petty that you consider opening up of a few polytechnics as the only solution to our unemployment problem. Buddy there is much more than is meeting your eye. Please read on with an open mind and get back soon with your sincere and honest feedback.

    Here are a few details regarding various high profile economic packages announced by the central govt for Kashmiris in the past. Present Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, unveiled a Rs. 24,000 crore “package” for J&K in 2004. A huge chunk of the Rs 24,000 crore - totaling Rs. 18000 crore - was actually meant to be spent by the Government of India through National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) to “improve transmission and distribution (T&D) systems in the State. Out of the Rs 18000 crore a big chunk was spent on the construction of Uri II and Kishenganga Power Projects – both in the central sector. The remaining amount of Rs. 6000 crores was to be used for paying salaries of Anganwadi workers since the 2004 “package” had also envisaged creation of 24,000 new jobs including 14000 caretaker jobs of Anganwadi (ICDS) centres, 5000 jobs in CRPF and 5000 in India Reserve Battalion (IRB). Let us do not forget that the “package” provided for financial assistance for only one year for these jobs and from the second year it was the State government that has been paying for all these jobs.

    Same has been the fate of Rs. 6165 crore “package” announced by India’s former Prime Minister – Mr. Vajpayee that included 287-km Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramullah rail line at a cost of Rs 3500 crore and Nimu Zangal-Padam-Darcha Road linking to Manali-Sarchu Road at a cost of Rs.195 crore. Remember the project was to be executed by the Border Roads Organisation (Ministry of Defence) and Ministry of Surface Transport for defence purposes. The basic problem with these packages is that they do not help create a decent industrial and services base in J&K which could raise jobs and also government’s tax revenues. Therefore the economic packages announced by the GOI from time to time have proved to be packages of deceit since they have in no way helped our economy grow but have rather proved to be a tool to reinforce Indian occupation in Kashmir.

    On April 8th, 2008, President of the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Sh. Venugopal N Dhoot while releasing the ASSOCHAM special publication on ‘Jammu & Kashmir: Striving for Industrial Revolution’ at a press conference held at Jammu urged the central government in presence of then Chief Minister of J&K, Ghulam Nabi Azad to extend a special package of Rs. 5000 crore to improve the necessary infrastructure so that investment flows towards Jammu and Kashmir fastens both in value and volumes from domestic and overseas industries. Dhoot requested the Union government, to allocate the suggested package to the state of Jammu and Kashmir through the Planning Commission. According to this study, the most promising areas in which Jammu and Kashmir can attract outside investments include food processing- agro-based industries, floriculture, handicrafts, leather processing and leather goods, besides sports, forest-based industry, processing of aromatic plants and herbs, pharmaceuticals based on herbs, bulk drugs, hosiery and made-ups. The state also offers immense business opportunities in hydropower generation, handloom and handicraft exports, gems & jewelry and development of tourism. Given the rich heritage and availability of required skills in gems & jewellery, the state offers to be a promising hub for the industry.

    Particulalry in reference to hydro potential, Jammu and Kashmir’s hydel potential is estimated to be about 15,000 megawatt of which only four per cent has been harnessed as the state only generates over 600 megawatt of hydro power. The Central Electricity Authority has already approved two hydroelectric power generating projects. The state has also cleared the setting up of about 12 mini hydel plants. What is needed is their immediate execution. The study projected investments in about more than a dozen identified areas, job opportunities to the extent of 25 lakh youths with export potential of Rs 13,000 crore by 2012. In food processing and agro based industries, investment potentials for 2012 is estimated to be Rs.3000 crore with its export potential of Rs.2000 crore. This sector alone is going to create livelihood for state’s three lakh people. The Kashmir valley also holds the opportunity to become a destination for adventure sports like trekking, mountaineering, water skiing and river-rafting. While places like Ladakh will be the ideal destination for trekking and mountaineering, rivers like Beas, Indus, Sutlej and Kali Ganga will be best suited for river rafting, the study reveals further. It is also recommended that the state should create a Jammu & Kashmir Export Promotion Force to tap the potential international markets by way of opening up of various strategic and marketing offices in the metropolis and industrial cities of India and world to promote its exports. The state has the potential to export Rs 13,000 crore worth of goods in the next five years. The potential sectors for export include processed food, fruit juice concentrate, leather products, handicrafts, and silk, herbs and herbal products, honey, welding electrodes, pesticides, floriculture, sports goods, forest based products, gems and jewellery, and electronics.

    Jammu and Kashmir stands amongst the top five smaller states in various developmental and infrastructural indicators and holds third rank in electricity generation, labour cost per worker, and number of technical institutes. It also ranks fourth in infrastructure expenditure amongst the smaller states and has fifth rank in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and number of primary schools in the state. Whereas the state has the sixth rank in female labour participation, has seventh rank in fiscal deficit. It ranks eigth in total investments, highest number of industrial workers. According to per capita SDP growth, the state ranks eleventh, and growth in manufacturing employment it ranks thirteenth. By reviving the state’s tourism industry, it can re-establish unemployed youths, through creation of infrastructure facilities such as modern bus and rail services and if feasible air services also. Foreign and domestic tourists could be attracted for the picturesque beauty, and the large natural lakes, snow clad mountains surrounded by thickly populated pine forests could make Jammu and Kashmir a prime tourist destination in the world. The state government should adopt the methods of successful tourism destinations like Switzerland and other European union countries.

    Agriculture is predominant sector in the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. Directly and indirectly, it supports about 80 per cent of the population besides contributing nearly 60 per cent of the state revenue. Further, state government should plan for higher production and productivity of each major cereal in order to achieve an annual agricultural growth rate of three to four per cent. The state government should also provide adequate training to farmers about the use of modern technology in agriculture. One important aspect for the increase in productivity is the adequate credit to the farmers, which is not significant in the state. The state should initiate this through the nationalised banks, so that the cultivators get adequate finance on credit for agricultural development. The state government should also adopt a suitable crop insurance scheme. By adopting these initiatives, it would further strengthen the confidence of the farmers. The government should also provide infrastructure to private investors to set up agriculture and biotechnology research institutes as the state has the potential for the cultivation of medicinal plants for natural health care. The state has extensive inland water bodies, particularly in the valley, which provide excellent habitat for almost any kind of temperate fish.
    Hope these facts and figures have broadened your vision to some extent.

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  7. Thankyou Mr Kashmir Crisis:

    It will take time for me to sift through all this information, but I would like to point out that it is easy to cherry pick information out of all these statistics and build your case. In any case I will definitely go through this information since you have taken time to write it here. I would like to reiterate that my goal is to find out ways in which to develop Kashmir and do my part in its development. We can take the easy route and keep wailing and whining about the great Indian conspiracy to keep Kashmir underdeveloped or we can help Omar achieve what we all desire Kashmir to become - a prosperous state. If this government fails to deliver, then your arguments would deserve some merit. You cannot blame him for something that he hasnt even had a chance to look at. Even though I am not even an MLA, yet I feel the obligaton as a Kashmiri to give my inputs for the benefit of Kashmir.

    I will most certainly respond to your data that you posted above.

    Regards,
    Tanvir Sadiq

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kashmir Crisis Blog10 February, 2009 05:35

    @Kashmir Centre
    Great piece Kashmir Centre, I liked it, keep it up. My fellow Kashmiri Tanveer feels that India has been sincere enough in funding us and developing our infrastructure. I wish to ask one simple question then, where have 26000 crores showered by Manmohan Singh, 6000 crores furnished by Vajpayee and many more thousands of crores provided by previous PMs of India gone. If we sum them up, they may not add up to anything less than Rs. 50,000 crores, I guess, in total eversince India occupied us. My question is were those 50,000 crores not sufficient enough to industrialize us adequately enough to the extent of manufacturing our own required goods. Then where are the industries?

    ASSOCHAM has clearly stated (as elaborated in my previous comment) that Kashmir needs just 5000 crores to brace up its resources, develop industrially and start becoming self-reliant. Even previous CM, Azad blabbered a lot about Rs. 5000 crores that he brought from central govt for building roads. But he was sad enough to announce in the University of Kashmir that he couldn't spend even 100 crores out of this mammoth 5000 crore package (due to corruption and lack of work culture). Why didn't Azad use his good books in New Delhi to reappropriate this 5000 crore package in developing the industrial sector of the state. Answer is clear, New Delhi was well aware before hand that state would never be able to utilize this big amount just on building roads owing to its meager capacities and knew well in advance that this money will ultimately come back to their own coffers. Had they been sincere enough in providing this grant, once found unutilized in the stipulated period of time, they would have reappropriated it for fostering industry and entrepreneurship in our valley to tackle the epidemic of unemployment. At the same time it is amply clear that thousands of crores of rupees pumped by India into Kashmir has not done us any good in the wake of rampant unemployment existing in the vale. Had there been sincere funding on part of New Delhi, we would surely not have been faced with such a huge army of jobless youth. They would have got absorbed in the well flourished private sector which is non-existent at present in spite of such huge inflow of deceiptful packages.

    J&K Bank issued a press statement on Eid-ul-Azha that an amount of Rs. 30 crores were disbursed by their ATMs across the valley within three days. Where did we spend these thirty crores, of course on sacrifical sheep, bakery, clothes and condiments. Where did these goods come from? Of course India. That means all the thirty crores went back to India. Had we been able to rare our own cattle, manufacture our own fabric, bakery, condiments etc, these 30 crores would have stayed within our valley thus making us richer. But sadly that does not happen because India does not want that to happen. Whatever we have been earning since 1947 has gone back to Indian manufacturers through the purchases we make, consequently our net savings are nil. A govt servant's riches are not counted by the salary he earns, they are rather counted by the savings he makes and total money he has in his kitty at the end of the day (at the time of his retirement). Similarly a state's prosperity is visible by the amount of money it is able to retain within. Due to absolute lack of industrialization and manufacturing activity in our state, we have spent whatever we have earned, there is no net saving and we are not as richer than before as we should have been. Now who is responsible for all this scenario, of course India.

    Tanveer accused me of cherry picking figures. Yes I did to put my point across. You are also free to cherry pick facts and figures if at all there are any available to you, to put your point across. What I stated are facts not cooked up figures. Nobody can deny the facts, not even Tanveer Sahab. I am eagerly awaiting enlightenment from him with concrete facts and figures, to the contrary arugument. Hope he will come out soon with the same.

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