Headline : For Naya Kashmir Editorial 6th Aug’19 IndianExpress
Kashmiri leaders also sought progress:
- Naya Kashmir was a memorandum that Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah submitted to the King of erstwhile Kashmir kingdom Maharaja Hari Singh in 1944.
- It outlined a plan to convert J&K from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy, called for universal franchise, freedom of expression and press, ability of women to work in all trades and professions, and a detailed economic plan.
- That vision of social justice, economic progress and poverty reduction wasn’t achieved, and is highly relevant for Kashmir today.
Low economic complexity in Kashmir:
Kashmir is an economic infant with low economic complexity.
Government finances poor:
The state accounts for less than 0.7 per cent of India’s GDP.
The fiscal deficit is more than twice the prescribed ratio and government debt is 50 per cent of GDP.
Private Credit to GDP is less than Bihar and the J&K Bank is a shame.
Hardly any private sector:
More than 30 per cent of families directly work for the government.
There is no wage premium in handicrafts; carpet weavers get Rs 150 a day while construction labour costs Rs 600 per day (and comes from outside the state).
Less than five per cent of fruits and nuts are processed.
Private investment last year was less than Rs 1,000 crore.
There is only one listed company and only one company with a paid up capital of Rs 10 crore.
There is no employer in the Kashmir Valley who pays provident fund and no private employer with more 1
Their 28 employment exchanges cost almost Rs 50 crore a year to run and have given few jobs to anybody in a decade.than 500 formal employees.
The real Kashmiri aspirational Youth hoping for progress:
- Most Kashmiri elites have economically diversified away from the Valley but the masses can’t exit.
- The masses have lost their voices because of Kashmir’s economic infancy and democracy controlled by few politicians.
- While the political royalty speaks about the threats to civilisation, the Kashmiri youth, which is more skilled, entrepreneurial, and aspirational than the past generations, is looking for progress.
Economic complexity needed in kashmir:
Such a situation is hardly fertile soil for economic vibrancy.
Some economists say that the only predictor of sustained economic success is economic complexity.
Kashmiris should spend the next decade creating the economic complexity that blunts passions by creating interests (jobs, skills, enterprises, assets, income, growth).
What should be done?
- A 10-year strategy for education, employment and employability that leverages India’s economic complexity is the need of the hour.
- Kashmir needs a new skill university that spreads higher education with employability.
- We should convert Hari Niwas into a world class hotel management institute in partnership with ITE Singapore or EHL Lausanne.
- We must double the direct flights and directly connect Srinagar to Jammu and Delhi with a three-hour and 12-hour train.
- We need revamped employment exchanges that operate a digital job site that offers job matching, assessments, apprentices, and online degrees.
- Massive funds must be committed to infrastructure and cluster creation.
- We need a massive design and distribution mission for handicrafts and fruits that raises the realisation of actual producers.
- Most importantly, we must get the huge, skilled, and motivated Kashmiri diaspora to return and reduce informal self-employment by creating more formal wage employment.
- India and J&K are tremendously and permanently intertwined.
- When one does well, the other does well.
- And when we both do well, we are unstoppable.
GS Paper III: Economy
Section : Editorial Analysis