LUCKNOW: Riding on youth power, the Samajwadi Party recorded a spectacular victory in the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. But most of the voters are in for a disappointment considering the way things are panning out.
The emphatic ‘yes’ from the youth in the polls had much to do with the promises made by the party.
Provision for an unemployment allowance of Rs 1,000 a month to the jobless, irrespective of caste, creed and community and even the economic barrier, was one of the commitments.
Apparently in 2006, Mulayam Singh Yadav regime had offered a monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 500, benefiting over 5.90 lakh graduates above the age of 25 years.
This time, the euphoria did not last long. What now appears is that majority of the youth would not get the allowance at all and those who managed to do so would have to work hard before staking claim for it.
The Akhilesh Yadav government is also seeking an affidavit from the applicants that they had neither worked anywhere nor are working at present with any government or private organisation. If an applicant under the scheme was found employed elsewhere, a criminal case of fraud may be registered against him or her.
The resource crunch has compelled Akhilesh to look for some face-saving formula so that the youth are covered under his scheme, but in such a way that the state does not face much financial burden.
“The government has directed us to devise a formula so that maximum number of jobless youth is covered in minimum budget. It is not possible,” a senior officer at the Employment and Registration Department of the UP Government told Express on condition of anonymity.
He said the SP had promised to give allowance to only those who are jobless even after the age of 35. “We feel cheated. We voted for the SP as it promised unemployment allowance to all,” said Sunil Kashyap of Unnao.
The employment department has assessed that if the allowance was given to those in the 35-45 years category, the government would not face a huge financial burden. But, if it gave the allowance to those in the 25-35 years group, the budget for the scheme would exceed Rs 1,000 crore a year.
The labour department has proposed that the assistance would be given to only those who would work for the government and its organisations.