While expressing serious concern over rising unemployment, power scarcity, corruption and unabated killings/arrests in Kashmir, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday demanded one-time waiver of KCC loan to the small farmers and fruit growers whose harvest was damaged by the recent heavy snowfall.
According to statement while addressing workers convention at Kulgam today he said the announced scale of relief under “state-specific special natural calamity” for damaged orchards due to snowfall is quite inadequate given the quantum of destruction. Besides, the huge damage to the present crop, the snowfall caused massive damage to fruit trees.
“Millions of trees have been damaged due to the snowfall and the mainstay of the Kashmir economy – horticulture – is in shambles. Even the announced meager relief has not been disbursed among the victims though almost one and half months have passed,” said Tarigami in a statement.
“The need is to announce one-time exemption of KCC loan to the small farmers and fruit growers whose harvest was damaged by the snowfall, besides the implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) in the state,” he said.
“Though the announcement of the crop insurance scheme was made by the government, it is unfortunate that the said scheme has not implemented in Kashmir so far. It becomes an obligation for the government to come to the support and succor of the farmers and orchardists as they form the backbone of the state’s economy and have always been suffering on account weather vagaries,” said Tarigami.
The issue of unemployment, he said, has reached to an alarming proportion as successive governments have failed to suggest a framework to tackle this issue.
“No policy framework has been suggested to address this huge and vulnerable problem. In absence of other viable avenues, the government sector is the only area which provides some opportunity of employment generation. But, the inability of the government in creating such opportunities the future seems to be bleak for our younger generation,” he said.
“Similarly, thousands of cases regarding payment of monthly financial assistance under various social welfare schemes were pending in every district. The weaker and poorer sections of the society have been totally neglected by the government which has severely hit their means of livelihood. The welfare schemes for old aged, destitute and other weaker sections are virtually defunct,” said Tarigami.
“Same is the situation with casual labourers working in different departments. There has been a lot of noise on their regularisation. Even the issue was discussed in the Assembly, but till date, nothing has been done on the ground. Wages of casual laborers in several departments are pending for several months. The NERGA workers are without wages, widows, old aged and destitute are moving from pillar to post to get their pension, but nobody is listening to their woes,” he said.
“Corruption has rendered the system defunct in Jammu and Kashmir. It has spread its tentacles everywhere despite tall claims of the successive governments that it will leave no stone unturned to eradicate it. The system has become defunct and the government is insensitive to the woes of common people. Inflation is so high that for a common man purchasing essential commodities from the market has become difficult. There is no accountability on price control as the government is nowhere,” he added.
“Though the government of the day claims there is the improvement in governance, the reality is that the power situation is the same as it was during the previous years. There is no improvement. Isn’t it any priority for the government to provide uninterrupted power supply to people in this harsh winter? No power schedule is being followed on the ground and even metered areas are facing long and unscheduled power cuts much to the annoyance of public. People living in rural and far-flung areas are without electricity.”
“The unabated killings and random arrests must be a cause of concern for every right-thinking person in the state and the country. The killing and arrests in Kashmir is highly condemnable and it should stop immediately. It is heart-rending to learn about civilian killings, which have become the norm of the day. The situation calls for immediate de-escalation from all sides. The killing of civilians can never be the solution to any problem. Whether a civilian is killed by the bullet from one side or the other side, it is a loss of precious human life. Whose cause’ is fulfilled by the killings of civilians? Unfortunately, it is a Kashmiri who is getting killed every day,” Tarigami in a statement said.