J&K's Minister for Finance, Labour and Employment, Dr Haseeb Drabu, on Monday stressed on need to address the issue of rising unemployment in the state on priority because "there is a growing unrest in civil society and danger of radicalization of youth."
Taking a review of Departments of Employment, Women's Development Corporation, Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Overseas Development Corporation, here, Drabu told the officials to be "receptive to market needs than engaging in age-old practices having no significance today."
He said unemployment is "among largest challenges" in Jammu and Kashmir and called for "formulation of a comprehensive employment policy and complete overhauling of the Employment Department."
An official spokesman said Drabu stressed the need to engage with people outside the walls of government and asked officials that "there is an urgent need to address the issue as there is growing unrest in civil society and danger of radicalization of youth."
Minister of State for Finance, Ajay Nanda was also present in the meeting.
Urging officials to have a new employment policy in place, Drabu said as the state is in a post-conflict phase, "there is need to have a new policy vis-à-vis current scenario and not the one formulated decades ago."
He insisted that the department should not look for providing jobs but to "bridge the gap of skill-deficit." He stressed on developing schemes "not to make employees work, but to make youth workable."
Commenting about figures presented in the meeting of 1.1 lakh youth registered as unemployed, Drabu said there is need to have more detailed mapping as the number of unemployed is more, the spokesman said.
On voluntary registration of unemployed youth, Drabu advised to have incentivized online registration system. "It is an embarrassment to stand in queue for registration. You make the system online and incentivize it," he said.
Talking about "dismal" situation of unemployment in the state, Drabu said this department is important in shaping up the future of our state and needs serious and focused effort. "This is not seen as prized posting. Nobody wants to work here," he said.
He said lack of robust private sector and saturation in government sector is a growing concern which needs to be tackled systematically.
Directing winding-up of Overseas Employment Corporation, he said there is need to have some vibrant, energetic organization in place. "It makes no sense to have an organization doing absolutely nothing," he said.
Drabu was informed that since its inception, over Rs 1.42 crore revenue-expenditure (sic) has been incurred on running the corporation without any significant contribution.
Drabu directed the officials not to have defaulters to banks as Board of Director on any of the corporations. "Ethics should be maintained. A defaulter cannot be on Board of Directors," he said.
Emphasizing to work in a coordinated manner, Drabu set May 15 as deadline for strategic paper on restructuring Directorate of Employment and other allied departments.