Essar setting up first BPO centre in Srinagar

February 10th, 2009 - 10:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Feb 10 (IANS) The Essar group of industries Tuesday started setting up Jammu and Kashmir’s first Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO), which will generate 4,000 jobs in the state that has around 300,000 jobless youth who are often targeted for recruitment by militant outfits.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah laid the ceremonial foundation stone of the BPO centre at Rangreth Industrial Area complex on the outskirts of Srinagar city.

The 38-year-old chief minister said the challenge of providing jobs to thousands of educated and skilled youth can be met only by promoting the industrial sector in the state.

“This can be achieved by roping in big business houses for investing in Jammu and Kashmir,” Omar Abdullah said.

Essar has promised to establish two BPOs, one each in Srinagar and Jammu, at a cost of Rs.100 crore (one billion).

“The BPOs being established by the Essar group of industries would generate jobs for 4,000 youth in the state,” Abdullah said.

“The launching of the BPOs would pave the way for the other business houses to come to Srinagar and Jammu for starting their ventures,” the chief minister hoped.

Shashi Ruia, chairman of the Essar group of industries, said he found a friendly environment in Srinagar for industrial investment and his effort would be to complete the unit as soon as possible.

According to a 2008 survey, there are 141,000 unemployed youth registered with various employment exchanges in the state, but many jobless youth have not registered themselves with any of the employment exchanges making the rough number of the jobless around 300,000.

Abdullah said people voted in the recent assembly elections for jobs, peace and positive change to ensure all-round development of the state.

“The government has initiated a multi-pronged strategy to address problems confronting the people and open vistas for employment opportunities for youth,” he said.

The chief minister admitted that despite starting the process of recruitment of a large number of youth in the public sector, there were limited job opportunities in the government sector.

He also referred to the vast potential of the tourism sector in the state for generating economic activities and job opportunities.

“The opening of the Srinagar airport for international traffic on 14th of this month would help in a big way to facilitate the inflow of tourists from World over”, Omar said.

The chief minister said besides focusing on generation of hydel power, the state government is also working out ways and means to generate thermal power.

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