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Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Friday said that his initiative to address unemployment and seek welfare of youth is above all political considerations and Sher-i-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) is completely an apolitical measure of his government in this regard.

“Youth are our future and their nurturing should not be linked with any consideration”, he said and added that many politicians want to take political advantage of problems confronting youth particularly unemployment by promising them government jobs recklessly exploiting their feelings. He said some political parties even promised two government jobs to every household despite knowing that they cannot do it at all.

Addressing the entrepreneurship meet of budding entrepreneurs who have set up their ventures in different fields taking advantage of SKEWPY and Youth Start-Up Loan scheme initiated by the Omar Abdullah led government, the Chief Minister said that answer to the unemployment crisis is not in providing government jobs to youth but nurturing their talent and facilitating them financially and technically to earn independent livelihood not only for them but for others.

Omar Abdullah said while his government is actively creating jobs for youth in government departments and upgrading their employability to get absorbed in open job market, the entrepreneur development is significantly important in this regard. He said that no country in the world can address unemployment crisis by providing government jobs to its all the unemployed. He said various initiatives and effective measures are required to address this problem.

Equating budding entrepreneurs of Jammu and Kashmir State with Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who first climbed Mount Everest and erected the flag there, the Chief Minister said that youth who have launched their entrepreneurship units under SKEWPY and have succeeded in their efforts are no less than the two persons who first climbed Mount Everest and inspired others to follow. “You have exhibited your courage, surpassed difficulties and achieved your goal. You are brand ambassadors of the SKEWPY and others will follow you seeing your success”, he told them and assured his and his government’s full backing to them for further development and success.

The Chief Minister said that the Reserve Bank of India has categorically directed the banks not to demand any collateral guarantee for any loan under Rs. 10 lakhs. “Banks have been forbidden to demand any guarantee for loans below Rs. 10 lakhs”, he said asking the youth that if any Bank Manager asks them this kind of guarantee they should inform him through JKEDI so that the said Bank Manager will be made an example for indulging in this practice.

Omar Abdullah said that the age bar, qualification limit and the expansion issues highlighted by the unit holders at the meeting would be viewed favourably to strengthen the SKEWPY initiative getting popular among the youth day by day. “When we started this scheme we kept its framework and procedures flexible so that by learning with experience, it is further improved and upgraded. We will definitely look into the issues of age, qualification and enhancement of Start-Up loan besides allowing expansion of the units established under the SKEWPY”, he assured the youth.

The Chief Minister asked the unit holders to mail their genuine difficulties if any to him directly through JKEDI so that he will personally look into their problems and ensure their prompt redressal.

A young boy from Dachhan dedicated his success to Omar Abdullah narrating his travel under SKEWPY to become an entrepreneur and a unit holder in the remote and far-flung area of Dachhan.

Over a dozen youth from Dachhan Marwah to Ramnagar Udhampur to Suchatgarh R. S. Pora to Jammu city narrated their success stories relating to their unit launching and making them functional under SKEWPY and Youth Start-Up loan scheme through the Directorate of Entrepreneurship Development.

They lauded the Chief Minister’s efforts of handholding youth and personally monitoring these schemes to ensure the success of budding entrepreneurs.



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