Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked members of an expert group formed by him last month to prepare a job plan for Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that the employment opportunities generated are sustainable. The State has some three lakh unemployed youths

Dr. Singh's directive came on Saturday when he reviewed the progress of the tasks assigned to the group, which is headed by the former Reserve Bank of India Governor, C. Rangarajan.

“The Prime Minister desired,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said, “that the group take into account all relevant aspects like skill enhancement, education and appropriate involvement of civil society and industry, so that employment opportunities generated are sustainable.”

The group assured the Prime Minister that their report would be ready within three months.

Meanwhile, reacting to hardline Hurriyat Conference's dismissal of the Centre's eight-point package, Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan told journalists on Sunday, “It is not a package for the separatists. It is for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I am sure when the package unfolds and the intention of the government to soothe the frayed tempers comes to the fore, there will be a positive reaction.”

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