Srinagar: As only a few government jobs are available for the youth, the administration's strategy to combat unemployment is to promote self-employment.
To date in this fiscal, banks have given young people money under various self-employment programmes totalling Rs 1840 crore.
According to official papers reviewed by Greater Kashmir, contrary to the aim of Rs 982.57 crore covering around 42,658 beneficiaries, J&K-based banks have approved Rs 1840.15 crore in favour of 53,299 beneficiaries under various employment generation schemes.
This comprised Rs 1337.94 crore under the PMEGP, Rs 316.93 crore under the NRLM, Rs 68.93 crore under the NULM, Rs 10.45 crore under the PMWMY, Rs 57.37 crore under the CCS for artisans and weavers, and Rs 48.53 crore under the JKREGP.
According to an official, the J&K administration has adopted a two-pronged strategy of courting outside investors while handholding young entrepreneurs to launch their businesses so that they could be job providers instead of job seekers.
“With a bulging youth population, unemployment is the biggest problem of our country,” the official said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs last month reported that 29,806 people had been hired by the J&K administration and it was estimated that 5.2 lakh jobs had been created through self-employment programmes in the last three years.
The government has introduced a variety of self-employment programmes during the last three years to aid young people in starting their businesses.
One of the J&K administration's most fruitful efforts has been the mission youth programme.
A sustainable livelihood line in the transportation industry has been established for unemployed kids, thanks to the ‘Mumkin’ (livelihood generation) programme run by Mission Youth.
The ‘Spurring Entrepreneurship Initiative’ programme is built on the idea of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation (YouWiN) and Champion for an Innovation initiative, which aims to inspire young people, especially young women, to start and grow innovative businesses.
Dentists are receiving tailored financial help for opening dental clinics under a sector-specific programme for dental professionals.
Under this programme, a sum of Rs 8 lakh is given as financial support for starting their business.
Another initiative called ‘Rise Together’ aims to foster community-based entrepreneurship in the Himalayan region in the best possible way to create jobs and income, and foster a sense of social service among the new-age young businesspeople.
Under the programme, qualified youth groups receive financial support of Rs 20 lakh, which is made up of a loan from the bank for Rs 17.50 lakh or 70 percent of the project cost and an upfront subsidy component minimum of Rs 2.5 lakh or 10 percent of the project cost.
According to the CMIE, J&K has a higher unemployment rate than the rest of India at 15 percent.
This raises the issue of how to control the rising unemployment.