‘J&K Budget presented in Parliament nothing new but jugglery of figures’
Jammu March 18: While reacting to government of India’s announcement that it proposes to fill up 50000 vacancies in government sector in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020-21, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday questioned what happened to previous similar promise made in August last year.
On 28 August 2019, when Kashmir was going through worst lockdown imposed by the Center after the abrogation of Article 370, then governor Satya Pal Malik announced that 50,000 jobs would be made available for the youth in the next three months. The latest announcement by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman in the Parliament seems to be a similar promise. It is nothing new but repetition of what has been said in the past.
In January this year some posts were advertised in J&K High Court. People of J&K genuinely expressed concern that the jobs should be provided to the locals only. Afterwards the government withdrew the notification and since then no decision has been taken.
On ground, the reality is different from what is being said by the government. The economy of Kashmir was already in doldrums since the devastating flood hit the Valley in 2014 and due to the unrest of 2016. But after the August 2019 clampdown, it has virtually collapsed as tourism, trade and other vital sectors were badly hit. Whole businesses have been shattered in Kashmir in the last more than seven months.
Those who were already earning their livelihood were deprived of the same. Thousands of casual labourers, need-based dailywagers, scheme workers and others are without wages for the last more than eight months.
The J&K Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister in the Parliament is nothing new but jugglery of figures. On ground, even those projects are pending which had started before the BJP government came to power in Center in 2014. Those projects which were started in UPA-II are still incomplete.
Business activities and developmental works, including repair of roads, and livelihood issues of people have come to a halt in Kashmir. The Government has not only failed to release the pending payments of contractors, but frequent closure of the national highway has given a blow to the already fragile economy of Kashmir.
How many decades will it take further to connect Kashmir with rest of the country by a dependable road or rail link? The highway and railway line project should have been given a priority since the BJP-led government came to power in 2014. But the reality is that condition of the national highway has gone from bad to worse in the last few years.
The non-payment of wages to daily wagers, casual workers, NREGA workers, contractuals, Anganwadi workers/helpers, ASHAs, CPWs, Mid-Day Meal workers and others is another concern which the government must attend on priority. The livelihood issues of people have been totally ignored. We are concerned over the plight of the working class who is adversely hit by the economic policies pursued by the Modi government which are drastically affecting the workforce in J&K and rest of the country.