Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Honor Among Crooks

The Controller and Auditor General's (CAG's) Annual Report proves that in spite of programs funded by the Central Government to promote job growth in J&K, the administrative machinery in the State is not performing to even the most mediocre standards. But the most astonishing thing is how no politician is willing to discuss CAG reports because the sword cuts both ways

CAG Indicts Industries Department for Poor Performance

Dinesh Manhotra (Ihe Tribune)

Jammu: Even as the Union Government has extended a “special” industrial package worth Rs 296 crore till this fiscal end in J&K, the state government has miserably failed to properly utilise the earlier packages announced by the Centre.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, which was tabled in the Budget session of the Assembly, has pointed out that special industrial packages had failed to achieve desirable results of generating employment for the locals.

While announcing that the Centre has accepted the demand for the extension of Rs 296-crore industrial package to the state till the end of the present fiscal year, Industries and Commerce Minister Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo claimed yesterday that it would help in generating employment opportunities for the locals, besides boosting industrialisation in the state. Employment generation was the basic objective of both the Union Government’s incentives as well as the industrial policy of the state, the report said.

It added that a total of 5,312 industrial units were registered during 2007-12, which gave employment to 38,380 persons at an average of seven persons by each industrial unit. The average employment provided by each industrial unit ranged between six and nine from 2007-08 to 2011-12, which defeated the basic cause of announcing such incentives.

One of the objectives of the Central package and the state industrial policy is to generate 90 per cent employment for the locals in industrial units. But the CAG report said the Department of Industries and Commerce was not monitoring whether the industrial unit set under the special industrial packages were meeting the objective of employment generation. “The employment-generation data was accepted as claimed by the industrial units without any mechanism for verification being in place,” the report said. “There is no mechanism in place to monitor the turnover, value of output, profitability, extent and quality of turnover and extent of value addition in the manufacturing units to see whether these are commensurate with the burden of tax concession and subsidies on the public exchequer,” said the audit report. The Centre yesterday accepted the demand of the state government and extended the special industrial package till March 2014. The special industrial package will be applicable with effect from tomorrow.

No comments: