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Overlapping J&K Government Employment Generation schemes

Shahid ul Islam

The Honourable Lieutenant Governor led administration has started Mission youth to uplift and handhold the unemployed of J&K. Under this mission the government has started, “MUMKIN Scheme” with the sole purpose of facilitating the employed youth to establish a sustainable livelihood line in the transport sector by providing financial assistance for the purchase of new small commercial vehicles. The Scheme Banking Partner will be liable to extend the loan facility to the extent of 100% of the On-road Price of the vehicle to be purchased. Mission Youth, J&K shall provide an amount of Rs 80,000 or 10% of the on-road price of the vehicle (whichever is lesser) as an upfront subsidy.

The Vehicle manufacturer (Scheme Partner of Govt.) shall also provide an upfront special discount, not less than the amount of subsidy. The Bank shall provide finance facility based on their normal assessment procedure & based on Hypothecation of the vehicle only, without asking for any Collateral Security.

Jammu and Kashmir Govt. also runs J&K Rural Employment Guarantee Program (JKREGP) run by Khadi and village industries board. The Public & Rural Transport is covered Under section, “G”, of the scheme. This scheme is operational in all districts of J&K excluding the municipal, town areas, and District headquarters. The Upper project/ unit cost admissible to rural and public transport sector, is Rs.20 lakhs, with a capital subsidy of 35% of the total cost of the project. The subsidy amount is credited to the account after 3 years into the account of the beneficiary. The basic and only aim of both these schemes is to provide self-employment to unemployed youth who are feeling frustrated and helpless given the uncertainty prevailing. However, the scheme launched under mission youth will burden the benefactors with huge financial liability given the stress transport sector is undergoing in J&K. If the government has the motive of increasing the lending ratio of the financial institution and thus helping them to come out of stress which the banking industry is currently facing then that is good for banks only and borrower r will be at receiving if the overall business scenario in J&K is taken into account. However, if the intention is to solve the problem of unemployment then the approach should have been different.

The LG-led govt instead of fine-tuning JKREGP started another scheme. Had the aspiring candidates got any info about JKREGP they wouldn’t have applied under, “MUMKIN scheme”, given the attractive benefits JKREGP is offering.The JKREGP should be extended to the whole of J&K including Municipal areas. Then the 20% subsidy is offered under, “MUMKIN scheme”, which should be embedded into the JKREGP scheme so that the unemployed youth feel at ease and get employed. The biggest bottleneck in JKREGP is Rs 20 lac upper project/ unit cost, which should be reviewed and done away with since the inflation has affected every sector and 4 wheeled heavy vehicles including mini-busses as well as mini trucks cost beyond 20 lakhs.

The Suicides, the heart attacks which are increasing at an alarming rate are worrying factors and the primary reason for these incidents is unemployment. The saying goes, “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop”, and our present dispensation should take steps to mitigate issues of youth in a real sense rather than Creating news, remaining in news, and managing news.