Entrepreneurship development answer to unemployment: Omar

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KL Report

SRINAGAR

Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah  Wednesday highlighted the handholding of youth in their pursuit to generate self-employment and be part in the prestigious entrepreneurship development programme in the State as one of the most stupendous tasks adding that entrepreneurship development is the right answer to unemployment crisis.

Omar Abdullah described generation of some 2 lakh job opportunities for youth under various initiatives of the Sher-i-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) and impressed upon the concerned departments to redouble their efforts in realising the goal of generating employment for five lakh youth in five years.

The Chief Minister was taking stock of the SKEWPY and its various initiatives under implementation in the State to help comprehensive employment generation and welfare of the youth besides enhancing their skill and capacity building to get absorbed in the modern job market within and outside the State, at a high level meeting he chaired.

The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the fillip received by Seed Capital scheme by the strict monitoring by Jammu and Kashmir Bank top brass in getting EDI sponsored cases cleared on fast track and disbursing the loan component for establishment of industrial units by the youth in a time bound manner. He asked the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) to enhance its target from 1,500 units to 3,000 units this financial year for which government would provide required seed capital to the entrepreneurs. EDI had expressed its capacity to achieve additional 1,500 units for the current year for which more seed capital were required.

The Chief Minister was apprised that under the Seed Capital Fund scheme as against 302 units established in 2009-10, the figure last year touched to 1,307 as compared to the target of 1,000 units fixed for the fiscal. It was stated that EDI has fixed the target of achieving 1,554 units this year and has the capacity to go upto 3,000 units. The Chief Minister told EDI to move forward in this direction and necessary finances required for this would be made available.

The Chief Minister on enquiring about the status of unemployment allowance being paid to youth under Voluntary Service Allowance Scheme (VSA), was informed that about 15,000 youth have been covered under the scheme and more than Rs. 50 crore have been paid to them under the VSA initiative of SKEWPY during the last year. It was stated that in the year 2010-11 over Rs. 24.72 crore and in the year 2011-12 Rs. 36.17 crore have been provided to the youth under VSA

The Chief Minister was told that the new scheme namely Youth Start-up Loan Scheme launched under his directions during 2012-13, more than 100 entrepreneurs have been provided Rs. 5.40 crore as easy loan last year and this year the target of assisting 250 entrepreneurs has been fixed. These entrepreneurs will be provided loans worth Rs. 20 crores.

The Chief Minister was told that 10 District Employment Counselling Centres (DECC) have been completed at Baramulla, Shopian, Reasi, Doda, Ramban, Kulgam, Budgam, Bandipora, Leh and Kargil and two Centres one each in Samba and Ganderbal have been already inaugurated. The Chief Minister asked the Employment Department to make these centres functional within one month’s period.

Omar Abdullah also received status report on the DECCs under construction in Pulwama, Kupwara, Kathua, Udhampur, Kishtwar and Poonch. He was told that these centres would be completed by the end of current financial year.

Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra, Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Economic Advisor to Government, Jalil Ahmad Khan, Principal Secretary Planning and Development, Principal Secretary Finance, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretaries, Surav Bhagat, B. A. Runiyal and other senior officers were present in the meeting.

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