Jammu and Kashmir has the highest number of government employees going by the population ratio. Because of dearth of opportunities in the private sector, state is the largest employer in Jammu and Kashmir. The number of aspirants seeking government jobs is skyrocketing. Unemployment rate has gone up. This sometimes hinders the process of peace and stability in at least creating a narrative around unemployment.
The inconvenient truth about the government employees in Jammu and Kashmir is that this sector also has the highest number of non-performers. The general perception formed over decades is that government servants are anything but hardworking. Work culture is missing. Corruption is rampant. Non-performing government employees are found in all cadres, right from Class IV to Class 1. On account of this non-performance, it is the common people who suffer.
It is amazing that the same government servants are instrumental in popularizing the narrative of disaffection with the state. The antagonists in politics, business and media take it a step further and dub it as disaffection with the Indian state. Very meticulously, the narrative of alienation is constructed, and is attributed to the failure of the Indian state in winning over the hearts of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Baat bas itni se thi jo Himalay ban gaya. Then there is the political class and the conflict entrepreneurs who hide their sins beneath this highly dangerous but distorted narrative.
The LG administration recently terminated the services of 11 non-performing and corrupt government servants. When this news reached the people, the common refrain was that the large majority of government servants in Jammu and Kashmir are non-performers, corrupt and dishonest. But all of them cannot be removed.
In a previous edition, we had suggested that the employees of LAWDA (J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority) should be held accountable for the mess we see at Dal Lake, or LAWDA should be dissolved. The promotions, perks and privileges of LAWDA employees should be subject to the cleaning of Dal Lake. Talking forward the same analogy, I would suggest that promotions, increments, privileges and perks should be subject to the performance of each government employee. A separate watchdog or government agency should be created for the issuance of an annual progress report regarding each government employee including department heads. Promotions and other benefits should be awarded only on the recommendations of this agency. Non-performers must be removed at the recommendations of the proposed government agency.