New Delhi: Known for his cool demeanour, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday lost his temper at a function here when a representative of an industry body poked holes in his pet project of Himayat to provide jobs for youth in Jammu and Kashmir.
"You are making an outrageous statement.... It shows how different you are in your perception on what the ground reality is. It is no longer true," he said while chairing the `Aajeevika skills and Sector Skill Council` meeting.
He was peeved over the representative of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) questioning the aspirational level of Jammu and Kashmir youth, saying that they are not ready to go for non-government jobs.
"I can get you 50 entrepreneurs in Jammu and Kashmir, who have nothing to do with CII, for putting up factories in Jammu and Kashmir and generating job for youth... Non-government jobs," the minister said.
Ramesh also strongly contested the claim of the representative that youth in Jammu and Kashmir are not ready to migrate to other states for jobs.
"Sixty percent of jobs in Himayat have been outside Jammu and Kashmir. 60 percent of the 8000 kids have gone outside Jammu and Kashmir. ...You are talking to somebody who visits at least twice in two months in Jammu and Kashmir to assess the job programme," the minister said.
However, the CII representative stuck to his claim, saying that his position on the issue was validated by Jammu and Kashmir Government.
Later, Ramesh said placement agencies like Indiacan have done an "outstanding job" in providing placements to the youth from Jammu and Kashmir under the Rural Development Ministry`s Himayat initiative.
"At least 100 girls from Jammu and Kashmir are today working in Chandigarh. At least 100 girls whom I have met personally on more than one occasion. They are working for all sorts of big companies.... We should also recognise aspiration levels are changing," the minister said.
Ramesh later apologised for losing his temper, but the CII representative had left the venue by then.