GUWAHATI, April 2 - Though all the political parties have raised the issue of unemployment and blamed each other for the growing problem in Assam, none of the parties has come out with clear-cut policies to deal with the problem. It is an established fact that no government can provide jobs to all the unemployed youths in the State, but no party has shown clarity as regards creating self-employment avenues either.
The Assam Tribune tried to get the views of the major parties on the issue in the run-up to the Assembly polls and all of them only promised to deal with the unemployment problem, but failed to spell out a clear-cut policy in this regard.
The president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, Anjan Dutta, alleged that when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was ruling in Delhi and AGP in the State, all government appointments were frozen. The ban on appointments was withdrawn only after the United People�s Alliance (UPA) Government came to power in Delhi, he said. He added that in the last 15 years, the Congress government in the State provided employment opportunities to more than five lakh youths and a number of schools and colleges were provincialised. The government also raised the upper age limit for appointments in government departments for the benefit of the unemployed youths, while a good number of people also got self-employment avenues because of the government�s help to self-help groups.
When pointed out that no government can solve the problem of unemployment by providing jobs in the government sector, Dutta said that the Congress always welcomed private sector investments.
The BJP�s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal admitted that the government and the industries must go hand in hand to deal with the unemployment problem. He said efforts would be made for improving skill development of youths so that they can get jobs in the private sector. He said that specific schemes would be chalked out to create job opportunities. However, he could not spell out what those specific schemes would be.
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) spokesman Aminul Islam alleged that over the years, both the Central and State Governments have failed to chalk out effective schemes to deal with the problem.
He said even existing industries have been closed down, while the youths of Assam have been being deprived in matters of appointments in Railways and other Central government organizations.
AGP president Atul Bora blamed the Congress government for the growing unemployment problem. He said if the BJP-AGP alliance government comes to power, job opportunities would be provided to at least one member of each family as the government would come up with an employment generation plan. However, he failed to reveal how they propose to keep their words.