J&K parties oppose winding up of SGHs

Several political parties on Thursday opposed the decision by the government to windup the Self Help Group (SHG) scheme, terming it a “disastrous” move which would compound joblessness in J&K.

Disastrous move: NC

National Conference said the decision of wrapping up the scheme would prove disastrous and another step towards disempowering educated youth of J&K.

In a statement, the party’s spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar while castigating the admin for the anti-youth move said the measure comes at a time when the government was claiming to provide job opportunities to more youth. But, on the contrary the government has shown the door to nearly 4,500 engineers by abolishing the 17 year old scheme.

“The measure is being taken when COVID19 has already wiped out thousands of jobs in the private sector. The move will leave a huge number of individuals and workers associated with them jobless.”

Demanding an immediate roll back of the decision, Imran said, “It’s a hasty decision and will create more delays in completion of work projects in J&K. Besides it will put a number of our youth under undue stress as it’s not them only who will suffer, it is their families which will have to bear the brunt of this heartless decision.“

Expressing surprise over the move to disengage SHGs, the party’s provincial President, Devender Singh Rana cautioned the administration to desist from pushing J&K youth towards a situation of despair and hopelessness.

“In an era of the so-called start-up boom across the country, it is like sprinkling salt on the wounds of those struggling to stand-up on their own as entrepreneurs for self-sustenance and generating jobs for others,” said Rana said.

He said it was quite intriguing that instead of generating employment to tackle the burgeoning problem, the administration was promoting and incentivising unemployment.

While questioning the rationale behind the decision, especially in the backdrop of these SHGs doing well in their respective pursuits, Rana said disengaging these engineers would amount to disempowering people by breaking the chain of entrepreneurship.

Rana recalled the motivation behind these SHGs, saying that this was aimed at engaging qualified engineers in gainful employment in view of scarce availability of jobs and lack of corporate and industrial sectors in J&K.

Rana sought a review of the decision, saying this was not the only area that has become the target of the administration but other areas also speak of administrative apathy.

Lamenting over the anti-youth policies of the administration, Rana expressed solidarity with the suffering SHGs, saying their legitimate issues will be raised at every forum.

Will lead to jobless: PDP

Terming abolition of the SHGs a “drastically calamitous measure”, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the decision will render thousands jobless in J&K.

In a statement, the party General, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said creation of the SHGs for unemployed engineers of J&K was a historic measure taken by then Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and later when PDP President Mehbooba Mufti assumed the office of the Chief Minister, she enhanced the work contract from 20 percent to 30 percent in favor of these engineers to empower them.

Hanjura said it was ironic to find government taking such bizarre measures through which livelihood of thousands of educated youth will be snatched and their families will be left to suffer sadistically by the current regime.

The party leader Nazir Ahmad Yatoo termed abolishing of the SHGs as worrisome. In a statement Yatoo said, “While the central government is claiming that special placement drives and jobs are given to unemployed youth of Kashmir, the reality on the ground is that government is pushing the professional and educated youth towards unemployment by sacking the engineers who were hired through different schemes decades ago.”

Assault on livelihood of engineers: Congress

J&K Congress said the abolition of SHGs was an assault on the livelihood of thousands of engineers working under the scheme.

They party asked the administration to revoke the decision to avoid further chaos in J&K. The Congress President GA Mir slammed the administration for abolishing the SHG, their work quota and said thousands of qualified engineers involved in the construction work will be left jobless by this inhuman decision.

He termed the decision as arbitrary. “Who is advising the government to take such harsh and anti-people decisions,” Mir questioned and urged the administration not to indulge in such heartless activities.

Rollback decision: Tarigami

The CPI-M leader MY Tarigami said the decision to abolish SHGs of was another glaring example of how the BJP government was hell bent upon to deprive people of their livelihood.

“Over 15,000 young unemployed engineers are earning their bread and butter by working through the SHGs in various departments for the last more than a decade. About 2,500 SHGs of engineers from various streams are working through these groups and contributing to nation-building since 2004,” he said.

“The abrupt and wrong decision of the J&K administration has shocked the families of these hapless engineers. They have set up their offices and hired the services of private accountants, computer operators, and even the office boys/peons. Their bread and butter are also connected with such SHGs. They will also be badly affected by this anti-youth and the anti-worker the decision of the administration,” he said.