Few takers, MP govt to revamp employment guarantee scheme

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Published on Sep 25, 2019 12:02 AM IST
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By Ranjan

Bhopal: Only 3% of the urban youth in Madhya Pradesh who were offered 100 days of employment under a state job guarantee scheme have received their stipends, prompting the Congress-led state government to revamp the programme, urban development department officials said.

The Kamal Nath government had in April this year rolled out its flagship ‘Mukhyamantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana’ that guarantees 100 days of employment every year to young people from urban areas who belong to economically weaker sections.

According to data available on the Yuva Swabhiman Yojna portal, 423,000 people (in the age-group of 21-30 years) were enrolled with urban civic bodies for training and jobs. Of them, only 27,000 were selected for jobs in the civic bodies, one of the officials cited above said on condition of anonymity. Only 14,000 received the stipend of around Rs 14,000; the rest didn’t have the minimum attendance required under the scheme.

Yuva Swabhiman Yojna offered people enrolling in the programme 4,000 stipend per month during the 100-days period. To become eligible for the stipend, a candidate had to have a minimum attendance of 30% on the job and 70% in training. Selected candidates were required to devote four hours to training and four hours to their assigned job every day.

“There are not many interesting trades available for training and job. Mandatory biometric attendance, verification linked to Aadhar and only 100 days of work were some of the reasons for the poor response,” the official added.

Candidates are more interested in jobs such as data entry operator, office assistant, contract supervisor, cleanliness assistant and electrician, but not in manual work such as glass fitter, mason, and construction vehicle driver, among others, the official said.

“So far, only 14,000 people have {been} given stipend,” the official cited above said.

As the scheme is linked with skill training facility, it is applicable only in 166 of the 378 urban local bodies in the state and therefore had a limited impact.

A second official familiar with the matter said that chief minister Kamal Nath had instructed officials to frame a “result oriented” programme. “At least three variants of the scheme have been presented before the CM but he has rejected all of them. He wants a scheme which could provide jobs to youth on a long-term basis,” the second official said.

Ahead of the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress had promised employment to the young. It announced a ‘Vivekanand Yuva Shakti Nirman Mission’ to provide Rs 4,000 per month for 5 years to educated young people from economically weaker sections for doing any professional job or taking part in state government works.

According to the urban administration department, there are about 650,000 educated unemployed youth in the urban areas in the age group of 21-30 years. P Narhari, commissioner, urban development, said, “We have already given a presentation before the chief minister about the revised scheme. He has instructed certain changes in it. We are working on it.”

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that the administrative set-up under the Congress government was cut off from ground reality. “Failure of the scheme showed how the state government and its administrative set up is chalking out plans from air-conditioned rooms while being completely cut off from the ground realities,” BJP state spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said.

MP Congress media in-charge, Shobha Oza, hit back. “Unemployment is a big challenge for the government, which was all time high because of flawed policies of the previous BJP government. Chief minister Kamal Nath is working on various fronts to generate employment avenues for people in the state, especially for the youth,” she said.

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Monday, October 25, 2021