Even as the J&K government claims that there are around 1.05 lakh educated unemployed youth in the state, the opposition has put a question mark on the survey claiming that the figure could be much higher.
The difference in official numbers between Jammu division–45781 and Kashmir division–58796 in 2016, also triggered a debate of regional discrimination among the ruling and opposition legislators.
The figures were revealed by the Minister for Rural Development Department (RDD) who was replying to a query raised by BJP MLA Sat Paul Sharma during the question hour in the Legislative Assembly (LA). The minister was replying on behalf of Labour and Employment minister Dr Haseeb Drabu.
Sharma however accused the government of regional discrimination saying that there was a disparity in the number of educated unemployed youth.
"The official figures reveal that number of educated unemployed youth in Kashmir is more than that of in Jammu. Educated unemployed youth have become victim of regional discrimination and government should increase the number in Jammu as well," the BJP MLA said.
CPI (M) leader and legislator from Kulgam constituency, M Y Tarigami intervened and said the state administration comprises of 60 percent officials from Jammu region while as only 40 percent belong to Kashmir. "But we can't blame JK Public Service Commission (PSC) for it. They selected candidates on basis of merit not on basis region they belong. We should refrain from politicking on the issue and create regional divide," Tarigami said.
Former minister and opposition NC legislator from Khanyar, Ali Muhammad Sagar questioned the government over the figures and said the Finance minister in his Budget speech ruled out any survey being conducted by the government to identify the educated unemployed youth in the state.
"Does it mean the numbers you revealed in the House are not official," Sagar asked the minister.