As the latest survey of the Mumbai-based Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has presented an encouraging picture about the declining unemployment rate in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities claimed that it was the result of the job-oriented initiatives taken by the government that more and more youth are getting employment.

In its latest survey, the CMIE has indicated that the unemployment rate in J&K is 9 percent which has gone below that of other northern states like Haryana, Rajasthan, and Delhi. Haryana's unemployment rate for the period stood at 28.1%, 22.1%, Rajasthan's at 19.7%, and Delhi's at 9.4%.

As per the survey, the unemployment rate in J&K was 15.5 percent in the month of March 2020 which has come down to 9.0 percent in March 2021. The J&K had recorded the highest ever unemployment rate -- 29.9 percent- in the month of November 2016.

Unemployment on decline in J&K

"We have taken a number of initiatives to generate employment for the youth of J&K", Director Employment, J&K, M S Choudhary, told The International BusinessTimes. "Initiatives like Seed Capital Fund Scheme, YouthStart-up Loan Scheme, National Minority Development Finance Corporation (NMDFC) and Women Entrepreneurship Programme (WEP) have yielded positive results", says Choudhary.

New Initiatives

He said that instead of running for government jobs, the youth of J&K are, now, focusing on self-employment. Choudhary said that Youth Start-Up Loan Scheme has received a good response as a good number of unemployed youth have started their own business with the help of government agencies.

Under the Seed Capital Fund Scheme, the EntrepreneurshipDevelopment Programme is offered as a package for the preparation of detailed project reports and includes an incentive in the form of non-refundable seed money to enable prospective entrepreneurs to start their ventures.

Manoj Sinha, LG J&K

The prospective entrepreneurs are to be provided with Seed Capital equivalent to 35% of the project cost up to a maximum of Rs. 4.00 lacs for undergraduates, Rs. 5.00 lacs for graduates, Rs. 6.50 lacs for PGs and Rs.10.00 lacs for professional /graduates or professional postgraduates within the age group of 18-40 years. 

"Youth Start-up Loan Scheme is another initiative to encourage youth to start their own venture", he said, adding, "Under the scheme, soft loan @ 6% simple interest is being made available to the prospective entrepreneurs in an off-bank mode, for the projects up to Rs. 12.00 lacs for10+2, Rs 15.00 lacs for graduates,  Rs18.00 lacs for Post-Graduates, and Rs 20.00 lacs for professional /technical graduates. The pattern of funding is 90% as loan component and 10% as beneficiary contribution. A state subject within the age group of 18-40 years with a   minimum qualification of 10+2 is eligible".