Three hundred thousand unemployed in Kashmir

New Delhi, March 16, IRNA -- Opposition and ruling party members in

the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) assembly blamed the ruling National

Conference government on the acute problem of unemployment in the


    According to the Times of India, a New Delhi-based English

daily, Congress member R.S. Sharma said there were "at least three

hundred thousand" educated jobless youths in J&K, but the National

Conference government stated that the number registered with various

employment exchanges is "one hundred sixty nine thousand."

    Sharma said while the government had ostensibly banned fresh

appointments, "backdoor appointments in all departments" were

continuing without check. Other opposition members affirmed his


    The issue was raised by a ruling National Conference Party

member who wanted to know if the government planned to make ad hoc

appointments in view of the swelling number of educated unemployment

youths and whether it planned to raise the age limit, as many youths

awaiting a government job had already cross the prescribed age.

    J&K Labor and Employment Minister Harbans Singh said on Friday

there was no plan yet to lift the ban on fresh appointments or raise

the age limit.

    Singh said that in view of the limited openings in government

departments, the government was encouraging self-employment schemes

and offering loans to individual youth and groups of youth intending

to set up their own enterprises.


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