Time to Act
The reports pouring in that the Group of Ministers constituted by the Prime Minister has finalized the plans for development and job creation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is heartening and gives some hope that steps would be taken to pull the region out of the present economic mess and developmental lag. Pertinently, the central government had constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to prepare blueprint for development and creation of jobs in Jammu and Kashmir. It is being reported now that the group of ministers has already presented its blueprint to the government regarding the overall development of the Jammu and Kashmir. Besides they have suggested a slew of programmes aimed at boosting employment avenues for young people in Jammu and Kashmir. It may be recalled here that the unemployment continues to remain the biggest challenge that Jammu and Kashmir is face to face with. The crisis of unemployment has deepened more post August 05, 2019 as the situational disturbance coupled with internet blockade has given a serious blow to the economy here resulting into loss of jobs for thousands and thousands of people. People affiliated with tourism sector have faced the worst as after the bifurcation of the state into two union territories, the tourist footfall completely vanished for several months at large rendering all concerned traders jobless.
Now that the group of ministers has reportedly submitted its report and suggest that how different ministries including those of Law, Information Technology, Social Justice and Empowerment, Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Petroleum & Natural Gas ministries, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship could contribute towards J&K’s development, the Centre needs to pace up the process and ensure that all impacted sectors are taken care of and a strong push is given to the developmental process. Tourism, horticulture, agriculture, food processing, education, health and employment sectors should be the main focus besides the government should take steps to find a onetime solution to the chronic electric power crisis. Pertinent to mention here that power crisis hits Kashmir zone more in winters and Jammu region in summers. Besides if the government really is keen to invite investments, it has to strengthen the power sector. No industrialist will risk to invest at a place where for more than six months, you face regular power cuts. It is need of the hour that steps are taken on war footing basis to strengthen the economy of J&K and to give boost to the developmental process.