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Rajasthan

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Jobless dole may come with riders as Jaipur coffers empty

The youth allowance is going to drain the already-strained coffers of a state which has the capacity to provide employment only to 1.5% of the unemployed youths at present.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 19, 2018, 08.25 AM IST
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Agencies
Gehlot
The state government already has an existing scheme ‘Akshat Yojana’, under which around 50,000 educated unemployed youth in the age group of 21-35 is being given allowances for two years.
It may cost the newly-elected Congress government an arm and a leg if it has to meet its poll promise of providing an allowance of Rs 3,500 per month to educated unemployed youth in addition to the farm debt waiver as mentioned in their manifesto.

The youth allowance, reiterated by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, is going to drain the already-strained coffers of a state which has the capacity to provide employment only to 1.5% of the unemployed youths at present.

“We will first try to create jobs for the youth. Then, we will provide easy loans to them for selfemployment. And, if even that doesn’t work, we will give them unemployment allowance of Rs 3,500 per month,” Sachin Pilot had told ET.

However, this scheme is likely to come up with several riders.

“The duration of the scheme is not mentioned …as to for how many years the allowances will be given. The age group and annual family income are also not mentioned. The state government may fix the criteria to keep most of the youth out of the net to save public money,” said a senior bureaucrat, who had been involved in designing such schemes.

The state government already has an existing scheme ‘Akshat Yojana’, under which around 50,000 educated unemployed youth in the age group of 21-35 is being given allowances for two years. Under this scheme, a male unemployed youth gets Rs 650 per month while women and the disabled get Rs 750 per month.

According to sources in the labour department, the government would need Rs 210 crore every year to support the existing number of educated unemployed youth registered with the department. The state government is already reeling under a debt burden of around Rs 3 lakh crore.

“At present, the amount as allowance is too small to attract a large number of youth. But with the amount going up five-fold, we expect more unemployed youths to get registered. This will leave the finances of state gove r nment in a mess,” the official said.

The situation is likely to worsen with unemployment growing steadily in the state. The unemployment rate in Rajasthan in November 2018 was 12.3% as against the national average of 6.62%.

According to the National Career Services, an initiative under the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, the total number of job seekers registered is 8,57,316 from Rajasthan, as of March 31, 2018, while the total number of job vacancies available in the state is only 12,854 –– that is just 1.5% of the unemployed can be provided jobs
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