Odishatv Bureau
Jammu: The government is aiming to reach out to nearly 1.50 lakh youth in Jammu and Kashmir based on a plan submitted by an expert panel highlighting the vast untapped potential for employment generation in the state, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said.

"The report submitted by Rangarajan Committee on job plan for Jammu and Kashmir youths clearly brings out the vast untapped potential for economic activity and employment generation in the state," Singh said while addressing third convocation of Sheri-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology (SKUAST).

"The plan they have suggested has the potential to reach out to nearly 1.50 lakh youth over a three to five year period," Singh said.

The plan would be implemented through a two-pronged strategy, firstly, by kick-starting the growth process in sectors like IT, tourism and small and medium enterprises and secondly, through a human resource development initiative focused on improving skills through access to education and focused placement oriented training, he said.

The report proposes focused interventions in the poultry, dairy and animal husbandry sectors, and expanding the private para-veterinary schemes of the state government, he said.

"We propose to begin implementing some of the recommendations immediately," Singh said.

However, Singh noted that the agro-economy on which about 70 per cent of the state`s population is dependent, is not in good shape with low productivity, poor investment and the state having large deficits in the production of cereals, oilseeds, pulses and vegetables.

"We have to give attention to productivity of products that Jammu is known for such as R S Pura Basmati, Bhaderwahi Rajmah, Kishtwari Saffron... We have to work on several areas like scientific methods for enhancing productivity, credit support and market access to farmers," he said.

The Prime Minister said a number of central schemes, including the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and the Horticulture Mission for NorthEast and Himalayan States are being implemented in the state.

A central scheme for Economic Revival of Jammu and Kashmir Saffron sector with an outlay of Rs 370 crore has been approved,he said, adding, "Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts will now be covered under the National Food Security Mission."

Stressing on the agricultural development, Singh asked the varsity students to strengthen agricultural research work in the region. The university also got a grant of Rs 32 crore on the occasion.

Singh also said in a few months, the South Asian University intended to tap the vast reservoir of intellectual talent in South Asia will be inaugurated in New Delhi.

During the event Singh spoke about the expansion plans of the Jammu airport at an approximate cost of Rs 70 crore which will enhance passenger handling capacity to 700 at a time.

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