Srinagar, Aug 13 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today termed unemployment in the state as a major challenge, but said her government is taking steps to overcome the problem.

“Unemployment is a major challenge. (But) the government is taking many steps to tide over the challenge. The private sector is being encouraged to invest in the state and entrepreneurship is being promoted among the youth to generate more job avenues.

This is in addition to development of sectors like tourism, handicrafts and horticulture which also have a high employability rate,” she said.

Mehbooba was addressing a public gathering after distributing engagement orders under the Rehbar-e-Janglat (ReJ) scheme among the 534 forestry graduates.

The chief minister asked them to use their professional qualification and expertise to undertake innovative means to ensure that depletion of green cover in the state is arrested.

Mehbooba praised the Forest Department for planting a sizeable chunk of fruit trees in the forest areas to avoid wild animals from moving out in search of food, thus minimising the chances of man-animal conflict.

The chief minister, on the occasion, also launched the online consent management and monitoring system of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).

This would enable issuance of online permission certificates in favour of intending unit holders, she said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.