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PM's J&K job panel report nowhere in sight

india Updated: Jan 11, 2011 19:21 IST
Arun Joshi
Arun Joshi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Here hangs yet another tale of unfulfilled promises of the Centre vis-à-vis Kashmir.

Even five months after the constitution of an expert group by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to formulate a job plan for the state, its report is nowhere in sight,.

The report should have been ready by November 10 last year , as the panel headed by former RBI Governor C Rangarajan was to submit it within three months of panel's constitution.

The group was constituted by the Prime Minister on August 10 last year, when protests were at peak in the Kashmir Valley. It was given three months' time to submit its report .

This was thought to be step to dampen the protests and liven the hopes among the disillusioned youth in the state.

Unemployment is considered as one of the biggest factors for the disillusionment of the youth in the state , and responsible for the recurring unrest, especially in Kashmir .

The state is having 5/67 lakh educated unemployed youth registered with the employment exchanges.

"We are also waiting for the report," a senior official told Hindustan Times, wishing not to be identified as the matter was "extremely sensitive."

In fact , the panel undertook its first visit to the state in November , more than three months after its constitution . It visited the two capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar and had detailed discussions with various government officials and trade bodies .

Chief minister Omar Abdullah had called for a "special employment package" for the state. "A special package for development of small and medium entrepreneurship sector is imperative to give new dimension to employment policy in the State to address the problem effectively," Omar had told the panel .

He had hoped that the Rangarajan Committee would give path breaking recommendations for addressing unemployment crises in the State.

Rangarajan, at the conclusion of the visit on November 25 had stated that the task of the panel was to "find out job opportunities within and outside the State," and had declared that the committee would submit its report soon.

But the report is still awaited.

In the political circles, this is being read as a repeat of an old story of the Centre wither not fulfilling its promises or failing to do things in time .

"The Centre should learn to take things seriously, and the employment package is something in which there should have been no delay," a minister told Hindustan Times.

The unemployed youth have termed this delay as a sign of non-seriousness of the Centre on the issue.

"We have seen whenever there is a problem, there are panels and promises of delivery but when the problem subsides, the things either come to a halt or start moving at snail's pace," lamented Fayaz Ahmad, a unemployed youth of Srinagar.