Everyone knows, the last two decades have been tough for Kashmiri young men and women. Joblessness peaked and with increasing population the number of educated men and women who are idling away their days has increased many fold. But the bigger problem is that there is not much hope on the horizon either. Workers in hospitality, and retail have been badly hit. These jobs have seen the biggest impact from Covid. The thing is that, pandemic has huge consequences, unemployment is one of the biggest. But if it is the one that keeps the spotlight, we will miss the others that stay in the dark. The focus on jobs is obviously vital. However, higher economic growth alone will not solve the jobs problem. Jobs can be created when growth comes from the transition of labour from informal sectors like agriculture, horticulture, and service sectors. Such extensive growth, however, runs the risk of stagnation. The horrors of the pandemic will multiply, further threatening our economic health along with our physical health. The primary objective should be helping the unemployed. All this is adding to the already bulging numbers of unemployed youth in the valley.
Many have already begun fleeing the valley for entry level jobs in various UAE cities. There are Kashmir based professionals with years of experience who are ready to work at entry level in dead end profiles to help their families make two ends meet. There are schemes, which the government needs to introduce in the public domain so that they can benefit from those schemes. According to data, a total of 1,12,060 establishments involving a total of 36,60,141 employees have availed the benefit of Rs. 2,214.47 crore. This includes 32,08,272 new employees and 4,51,869 employees who had lost their jobs during the pandemic and have been re-employed. This scheme, being implemented through the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), reduces the financial burden of the employers of various sectors/ industries and encourages them to hire more workers. To put it straight, don’t expect a recovery in job growth in the short term. The government knows it but that does not mean they can fix it as soon as possible. The malaise runs too deep now, and the clock is ticking.