PDP-BJP government: a failure on many counts

Jammu & Kashmir govt has failed on the developmental front. The state hasn’t been able to implement centrally-sponsored schemes and unemployment is another issue the state has been grappling with

Photo by Nitin Kanotra/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Nitin Kanotra/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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Gulzar Bhat

The PDP – BJP coalition has failed to deliver on many of their promises and people are unhappy because of it.

The state government is set to defer the Panchayat polls indefinitely, which were earlier slated for February 15 and that hasn’t gone too well with people. The Hindu quoting a senior Home ministry official reported that the “the polls have been indefinitely due to prevailing security situation in valley.”

Around 4,378 panchayats in the state of Jammu and Kashmir were due to go polls in 2016. While the state government blames the “prevailing situation” for the deferment of elections, opposition leaders hold the ruling dispensation responsible for the murky situation in valley which they believe is a throwback to nineties.

“We concede that the present situation is not congenial for panchayat polls but who is responsible for such a situation in valley. The situation is well-nigh like nineties and is worsening with each day,” said Hakeem Mohmmad Yasin, Chairman People’s Democratic Front and MLA of Khansahib.

He added that the government had failed miserably on a host of issues and the panchayat elections were just one of them.

“This government could not hold the by-elections for a single Anantnag parliamentary seat, so how will it be able to conduct such a massive elections in which around 35,000 Panch constituency will go to polls ?” Yasin asks.

Pertinently, the by-elections for the Anantnag parliamentary segment, slated for April 12, 2017, were deferred indefinitely by the Election Commission on the recommendations of state government following the firing by security forces which killed at least eight persons during Srinagar by-polls .

Development on the backfoot

According to a report, Jammu and Kashmir is lagging behind in the implementation of the Swachh Bharat scheme with more than 60 per cent of the population defecating in open. Similarly, the state government has not been able ensure payment to a majority of the labourers in the Central government’s flagship programme MGNREGA.

“The development in the state is inadequate . The central government policies, be it MGNERGA or any other, have not been taken off efficiently” said M Yousuf Tarigami, secretary CPI(M) and MLA of Kulgam.

“Non conducive atmosphere in the state is partly responsible for it. But who is responsible for this atmosphere? ” Traigami asked.

While the state government blames the “prevailing situation” for the deferment of elections, opposition leaders hold the ruling dispensation responsible for the murky situation in the Valley which they believe is a throwback to nineties.

Unemployement

The problem of unemployment, usually linked with the steep rise in militancy, is one of the pressing issues in the cash-starved state. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the state has the highest unemployment rate of 12.13 percent in the country.

Recently, Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu on the floor of house said that there were 87,650 educated unemployed youth registered with district and counseling centers across the state. The number however is much higher as a large chunk of unemployed youth does not stand registered.

“This government has failed to address the issue of unemployment. It has even stopped the Voluntary Service Allowance (VAS) given to unemployed youth during the previous regime” rued Aamir Wani, an unemployed youth of district Anantnag.

Contentious recruitment policy

The state government in 2015 announced a special recruitment policy by promulgating SRO 202. Under this policy an appointee has to work, “for a period of five years on the minimum scale of pay along with the grade pay applicable to the post”. Moreover, the appointee is not entitled to any allowances or increments. The policy continues to be in place in spite of much criticism.

“ My job burns a hole in my pocket. My posting is 80 km away from home and I have to stay at a rented flat where I work and the government is hardly paying me any House Rent Allowance. My whole salary goes into paying the rent. Isn’t it exploitation by state,” asks Riyaz Ahmad, a newly appointed government staffer.

The policy was earlier introduced by Omar Abdullah in 2014. However, after facing much criticism from both the unemployed youth and opposition parties, he had scrapped it.

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