Towards self-sufficiency

There is direct relationship between high inflation and unemployment in Kashmir .

Inflation refers to the sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy.Unemployment takes place when people have no jobs but they are willing to work at the existing wage rates.

Inflation and unemployment are key economic issues of a business cycle. Both are key economic performance indicators of any country and are related to each other at least in a Short run. Inflation affects the level of unemployment in an economy. The trade-off between unemployment and inflation was first reported by the economist A.W. Phillips in 1958. According to A.W. Phillips there  is a negative relationship between the rate of unemployment and inflation. Years with high unemployment tended to have low inflation rate.

But the scenario in Kashmir is totally different. That is because local people have less impact on economy and outsiders. The recently released Consumer Price Index (CPI), Jammu and Kashmir shows that jammu and Kashmir is  one of the most expensive states in India to live. The  inflation rate of the state reaching 3.8 percent in April – almost 1 percent higher than the all-India average of 2.9 percent . The same is the case with Unemployment  in Jammu and Kashmir. The official reports reveals that Unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir is higher than average National unemployment rate, with JK’s having 24.6 percent population in the age of (18-29 years) unemployed which is far more than All India unemployment rate of 13.2 percent.

But the question is why is there so much unemployment and high inflation rates in the state ,especially in Kashmir. Why are we laggingg behind? Are there limited job opportunities in Kashmir?  is there limited demand in our market for products.There are many questions like this, that strike my almost everyday.

The answer to these questions for me is BIG NO. For me there are vast number of employment opportunities. The demands in our market are very high. Where  is the problem then, the answer lies in how Kashmir have defined and perceived, the concept of employment.  For Kashmiris Employment means Government jobs and only Government jobs. Their is a dire need to change the perception about employment, especially in young generation in Kashmir. There are lot of opportunities waiting for  you where you can provide employment to your self and engage many other as perception. Take the case of food industry in Kashmir. Especially in meat and milk inustry in Kashmir.  The meat in our markets is sold at 500 Rupees per kilogram. Have you noticed, why the meat is so costly (highly inflated). Have you noticed where  from this comes? Who gets benefits from our markets. Unfortunately the meat that is sold in our markets comes from outside sates. That has led to high iinflation and drain of almost 2000 crores annually from our economy. Given the high demand of meat in our markets official statistics say that Jammu and Kashmir annually consumes a whopping 51,000 tones of mutton. Why can’t we provide our meat to our markets. As Kashmir enjoys the best Geographical location for rearing of sheep and goats in Kashmir. This shows that there are opportunities waiting for us to explore them. Grabbing of these opportunities is need of the day. This will provide employment to thousand of people and ease out inflation rates too.

Mansoor ahmad is pursuing Msc Geography at the University of Kashmir