J&K: 'Admin aim is to eradicate unemployment by 2025'

Aim of administration is to eradicate unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir in five years: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha

Sinha said the idea behind the workshop is to create an institutional mechanism to empower and groom the youngsters

Jammu & Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. Credit: PTI

The aim of the Jammu and Kashmir administration is to eradicate unemployment in the union territory in the next five years, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday.

He was speaking after inaugurating a day-long workshop on youth engagement and outreach here.

The workshop, organised by the J&K administration at SKICC, was attended by top Industry heads from Ashok Leyland, ICICI Foundation, Bombay Stock Exchange, various universities, IIMs/IITs and policy analysts from across the country.

“I am happy that big business houses are here today and they are fully supporting us. We will frame a policy document on which we will work. We will share all the details with you once the plan is ready. Our aim is to eradicate unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir in five years,” Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of the workshop.

The workshop is aimed to create opportunities and infrastructure for engaging youth, addressing their issues and concerns and empower them in entrepreneurship, self-employability and create a livelihood in a well-curated and holistic manner, an official spokesman said.

Addressing the inaugural session of the event, Sinha said the idea behind the workshop is to create an institutional mechanism to empower and groom the youngsters and to make them valuable for J&K as well as the country.

He said in the past, many initiatives were taken to engage the youth here, but all of them somehow fell short of meeting the desired requirements.

So, there is a need to have an umbrella programme that dovetails all the resources meant for this purpose to achieve the goal of youth empowerment and youth development, he added.

“I believe in concrete plans and immediate execution. My idea of the institutional mechanism under Mission Youth is to ensure that we have a concrete framework and a definite time-line to execute it on the fertile ground that we have prepared,” Sinha said.

He said in comparison to the national average unemployment rate of 13.8 per cent, J&K has a 25 per cent rate.

To fix the lag, we have before us 'Mission 2025' under which we have to bring the opportunities to 80 per cent of the youth of J&K, he added.

On the occasion, Sinha announced that a seed fund of Rs 200 crore has been earmarked for creating initial infrastructure and institutional support for meeting the initial needs of this programme.

This amount, he said, would be used to create a 'Centre of Excellence' and infrastructure in districts to realise the goals of making youth the leaders of success.

The Lt Governor also beckoned the industrial leaders to partner J&K in formulating and implementing the programme successfully on the ground.

He sought the support of the national-level investors and industry experts in creating robust infrastructure and employment avenues for the youth of the UT.

“We not only need your investments but your expertise as well, which will help us realise the dreams of prosperity,” he added.

“It is my aim to truly create a stable policy and regulatory ecosystem to business so that they can build for scale and create a thriving startup ecosystem which is inherently entrepreneurial in approach, creating local jobs and employment,” he said.

In the domestic ease of doing business ranking and state reform action plan, J&K is moving up, Sinha said.

By minimising regulatory burdens, J&K has scored over states like Kerala and Odisha in September's ranking by the central government, he added.

Highlighting UT administration's efforts in promoting entrepreneurship, the Lt Governor said within one month, two aspiring entrepreneurs from every 4,290 panchayats of J&K were selected for handholding and about 10,000 people have been provided loans through the J&K Bank to establish their businesses.

We believe in the uniqueness of youth energy and providing equal opportunities for them to build a modern, equitable and sustainable society and the nation, he said.

Sinha said almost 65 per cent of the population of J&K is under the age of 35 years and on one hand, we have a demographic dividend like the rest of the country, but on the other, we have faced many challenges, systemic unemployment and joblessness along with the absence of holistic development of the youth.

The LG said the administration is focussing its energies on four sectors -- industry & services, technology & innovation, infrastructure, agriculture & allied sector.

“You are all welcome to Jammu & Kashmir for an unprecedented revolution with public participation. Valuable contribution and investment made today will give dignity to the youth and it will restore their pride and will make Jammu and Kashmir truly a piece of art in the country's economy,” he said.

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