Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday expressed happiness over the positive transformation taking place in the mindset of the local youth over their earlier preference for government jobs.
"It is heartening to observe that the overwhelming majority of educated youth present in the auditorium in today's conference have not indicated government jobs as their first preference," Omar said after asking the boys and girls to raise hands whose first preference was government jobs and received negligible affirmative response.
The chief minister told young boys and girls who had gathered at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar in connection with a career counseling conference Monday, "You are the ones who will take care of the state in the future and develop it as per your dreams."
"In fact, the state government should not be seen as a job provider, but as a service delivering and development giving concern," he said adding that it is very difficult for a state like Jammu and Kashmir to manage a huge establishment with its meager income sources.
"The total annual income of the state is just Rs.6,500 crore and we have to pay salaries to government employees to the tune of Rs.13,500 crore yearly and the losses per annum on electricity supply account for another Rs.2,000 crore," he explained and said that even under this kind of scenario, the state government is creating government job facilities for youth to the best extent possible.
The chief minister said new initiatives for skill development and employability of youth have been initiated and the schemes like 'Udaan' and 'Himayat' are under implementation with help of the good offices of the Prime Minister to prepare the youth for getting absorbed in the open job market.
He said private investors and companies are being roped in and the negative perception in the minds of big business houses regarding investing in the state is being removed.
Omar Abdullah also said, "Gone are the days when medical and engineering fields were the only choices for the young generation. There is a vast world before you and you are talented enough to prove your ability," he told the youth asking them to face challenges confidently and prove their excellence.