Kick-starting the UDF government’s ambitious Kerala State Self Entrepreneur Development Mission (KSSEDM) on Friday, Finance Minister K M Mani distributed cheques worth `23 crore to the first batch of beneficiaries of the scheme.
According to Mani, the scheme is aimed at reducing the unemployment of youths in the state.
“The project aims at creating vast sources of employment opportunities to the unemployed youth in the state. Initially, 571 entrepreneurs will start their own enterprises. The bigger picture is to create 10,000 enterprises, 50,000 entrepreneurs and 50,000 direct employment opportunities in the next five years,” he said.
Providing interest-free loans up to Rs 20 lakh to entrepreneurs aged between 21 and 40, is the biggest attraction of the scheme.
The loans will be provided to promoter groups comprising educated unemployed youth for setting up viable industrial projects.
Mani also assured that by the end of the UDF term, the unemployment in the state will be brought down to half the current number.
“The youth will be given opportunities in the agriculture and IT sectors. Once the Rice Park in Kuttanad is set up, it will be the unemployed who will be given preference for the jobs. Jobs will be available for the youth at the computerised greenhouses which will come up in the state,” he added.
Mani also stated that the government is striving hard to equip the youth in the state with job-oriented skills through their skill acquisition programme and skill enhancement programme.
“Forty per cent of the youth in the state are moving on to other countries for employment. It is not because they are devoid of employment opportunities in the state but because the youth in the state are not well equipped for jobs.”
Hibi Eden MLA, chairman and managing director Kerala Financial Corporation Yogesh Gupta IPS, chief coordinator KSSEDM M Mushtaq Ahamad and general manager KFC Premnath Ravindranath were also present.