Press Trust of india

Unemployment, price rise become biggest problems: Farooq Abdullah in Lok Sabha

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New Delhi: Unemployment has become the biggest problem in the country, along with price rise of essential commodities, and the government must take urgent steps to resolve the two key issues, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said on Wednesday.

Initiating the debate on the Union Budget on the third day of the discussion, he said despite having higher degrees scores of youths in the country are without jobs.

“As they don’t have jobs, many of the youths are under depression,” Abdullah said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the prices of all essential commodities are on the rise and people are suffering due to it.

He said oil price is sky rocketing which is having a cascading effect on all products as most them are being transported from one place to others and asked the government to reduce the taxes on petroleum products to give relief to the people.

“Now the poor is becoming poorer and the rich is becoming richer,” he said.

Abdullah said fund allocation to the employment generating scheme MGNREGA, which is the lifeline for the poor, has been reduced and asked the government to allocate more funds to it.

He appealed to the government to ensure that locals get the employment opportunities at the ongoing power projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

The NC leader complimented the government for withdrawing the three farm laws as demanded by farmers and suggested that in future if any bill is brought, it should be referred to a select committee first for better scrutiny.

“We are not your enemies but can give you some better suggestions,” he said.

Demanding industry status for the tourism sector, he said that scores of people in Jammu and Kashmir are involved in tourism and such a move will benefit them a lot.

He also asked the government to protect the interests of the local apple growers as they are being hit by the import of the fruit from abroad.

Abdullah also appealed to the government to complete the process of the recruitment for border battalions in Jammu and Kashmir, saying there has been apprehension that youths from outside the Union Territory will get preference over locals.

He said education and health are the two key sectors for the overall growth of the country, hence, there should be more allocation of funds for construction of roads and tunnels and medical care.

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