Altaf Bukhari bats for job creation policy

Kashmir Magazine

Saying that mounting employment in J&K should be a matter of serious concern for the Government of India, President, Apni Party, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari asked for a comprehensive “job creation policy” to address this issue.

Addressing party’s DDC election campaign convention in Handwara, Bukhari said that J&K’s highly qualified youth applying for class-IV jobs advertised recently should serve as an eye opener for the policy planners in New Delhi.

“Around 6,00,000 educated youth had applied for 10,000 class-IV jobs including 1800 Accounts Assistant posts. (This) indicated the level of unemployment in J&K. The Government of India should also imagine the level of frustration among our highly qualified unemployed youth,” Bukhari remarked.

Referring to a recent survey, Bukhari, according to a party handout issued here, said that 2.5 lakh educated unemployed youth including PhD scholars, M Phil students and postgraduates were registered with the department of employment during a drive last year to count the number of jobless persons in J&K. “This number,” he said, “excludes the graduates, undergraduates and those who did not opt for registration at the employment department”.

“Similarly, there are over 60,000 daily wagers, casual labourers, ITI skilled labourers, need-based, contingency-paid, consolidated, and NYC workers who are awaiting regularization (of their services). These employees are merely on muster rolls and are being paid peanuts in wages,” Apni Party president said while urging Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to expedite the regularization cases of the daily wagers.

Bukhari said that the most of the unemployed youth genuinely blame decades’ old “mis-governance, poor administration and rampant corruption” in the corridors of power that “has pushed Jammu and Kashmir to record second worst unemployment rate among states/union territories in the country”.

He said that addressing unemployment would be one of the biggest challenges before the Apni Party. He said they are trying their best to chalk out a blueprint for addressing this problem. “Apni Party believes that the youth of J&K are full of potential and what they need is to channelize their positive vibes and energies with dignified avenues for their sustainable livelihood,” he observed.

He regretted that one of the significant causes behind the “rising drug addiction” in Kashmir is unemployment. “Due to unemployment, marriages are not held at a proper time. It also causes depression and pushes youths towards drug addiction,” Bukhari said, while stressing on the government of India to formulate a “special job creation policy” for the unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bukhari said that the Apni Party owes its existence to the people of J&K especially its youth who had yearned for change. “A change required not only in the style of governance but in political philosophy and its practice on the ground,” he remarked.

Addressing the convention, Apni Party senior vice-president Ghulam Hassan Mir said that the District Development Council elections are essential in terms of empowering the people on the ground. “These elections would complete the third tier of Panchayat Raj which means strengthening the grassroots democracy.

“People should ponder over their developmental requirements and explore the ability of their contesting candidates before exercising their franchise. Apni Party has a vision and its leadership believes in delivery. You should give a chance to our candidates and then see a new era of progress and prosperity in your respective areas,” Mir added.

Apni Party senior leader and former minister Mohammad Dilawar Mir who also spoke on the occasion stressed for socio-economic development especially in rural J&K. He appealed to the people to come forward to get rid of the decades’ old “exploitation and malpractices” by supporting the Apni Party candidates in these elections.