Raghuram Rajan, the liberal icon and former governor of RBI has claimed the economic condition is very poor and Kashmiri youth is frustrated. According to him, they follow a very peaceful version of Islam but the poor economic condition is among the reasons behind the alienation of Kashmiri youth and terrorism in the region. The problem with ‘liberal intellectuals’ is that they think of themselves as an expert in every field. Raghuram Rajan is definitely not an expert on Kashmir, he has not spent a month in the valley. He is not even remotely aware of the conditions of Kashmir and the problems faced by its youth but he did not hold his horses in expressing a liberal opinion about the valley.
Before calling economic condition responsible for the alienation of Kashmiri youth, Raghuram Rajan needs a lesson in some hard data. Overall the state of health, education and other socio-economic condition of Jammu & Kashmir is better than many other well-off states of the country. The more important fact is that much of the money for this expenditure is coming from the pocket of the central government. Jammu & Kashmir is one of the most pampered states of the country with 73.6 percent of the state’s total revenue from central government while the state generates only 26 percent of total revenue.
The total revenue receipts of the state for the fiscal year 2018-19 is 64,269 crore rupees. Out of this revenue, the state’s own taxes (11,194 crore rupees) and non-taxes (5,761 crore rupees) are estimated at 16,955 crore rupees. The total grants from central government to the state is 34,330 crore rupees and its share in central taxes is 12,984 crore rupees. This means, in the fiscal year of 2018-19, the state is expected to get 47,314 crore rupees from central government.
The state has far higher social spending than the rest of the country. The per capita social spending in J&K is around 12,000 rupees per year while for the rest of the country it is only 8,500 rupees. The number of Primary Health Centers (PHCs) per capita in the state is 60 percent higher than the country while the number of Community Health Centers (CHCs) is 70 percent higher. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the state is 41 in J&K compared to the average of 44 in the country. The life expectancy in the state is 5 years more (73) than the rest of India (68).
The schools per household in the state is two times more than all India average while Gross Enrollment Ratio and Gender Parity Index of the state is comparable to the average of the country. The access to banking facilities like deposit accounts, loans are also higher in the state compared to all India average.
Jammu & Kashmir performs very well on the development indicators and money for the development expenditure comes from central government. The state generated only 27 percent of revenue from its own resources compared to 51 percent for Uttarakhand which has the almost same population base. The states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu generate 75 percent and 72 percent of total revenue from their own resources.
Therefore for a man of the reputation of Raghuram Rajan to argue that poor economic condition of the state is responsible for the alienation of the youth of the state, that too without hard data is very unprofessional. Liberal icons like Raghuram Rajan should express the views only on the topics which they have researched considerably and not talk on the speculations.