BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Yuva Vahini (BYV) launched under Biju Yuva Shashaktikaran Yojana by the State government in 2018, before the last general elections, has been discontinued.Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Tusharkanti Behera informed this while replying to an unstarred question from Bhawani Shankar Bhoi (BJP) in the Assembly on Friday. “BYV is no longer functioning in the State and no budgetary allocation has been made for it in 2021-22 financial year,” he said.The Minister said at present, no welfare activities are being taken up by the BYV as no allocation has been made in the budget. “There is no room for any expenditure,” he said.
Regarded as one of the largest youth engagement programmes in India and the only of its kind, BYV was launched as a sub-scheme, which was introduced by the department after the Cabinet’s approval on March 14, 2018. The BYV was launched to encourage volunteerism and active participation of the youth in various social action projects and community engagement activities. Official sources also confirmed that the government has not made any budgetary allocation for the BYV for the last two years. The allocation could not be made for the BYV in 2020-21 as the finances of the State had been severely affected because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation has also not undergone much change in 2021-22 financial year.
The Minister, however, clarified to this paper that the BYV will not be closed by the government. A proposal to transfer the BYV to Panchayatiraj department in rural areas and Urban Development department in urban areas is under the consideration of the government, he said and added that only programmes undertaken by it have been stopped.
The government, however, drew flak from the BJP and Congress following the Minister’s statement. Funding for BYV has been stopped as the organisation has already done its work, leader of the Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said and demanded that the government should clarify on the purpose behind its formation.President of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik said there seems to be no need of BYV as there is no election now.