10 lakh youth to get unemployment Stipend in Andhra Pradesh

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WITH NEARLY 12 lakh unemployed youths in the state, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to give a monthly allowance of around Rs 2,000 per person till they find a job. The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet sub-committee, which met on Wednesday, has decided to launch the scheme with an initial budget of Rs 500 crore.

Kollu Ravindra, Minister for Youth and Unemployment Benefits, said that although the date of launch has not been decided yet, in all likelihood, the programme should begin by July-end.

“We are still collecting data. There are approximately 12 lakh unemployed people in the state but we want an age-wise break-up. It needs to be seen if they have skills or not, and also, whether or not they are registered with the employment exchanges and bureaus. After collecting the data, we will be in a better position to frame a policy and decide how much amount each person should be given as unemployment benefit per month,” Ravindra said.

He said the committee would look into how states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are giving benefits to unemployed youths, before it comes up with a plan suitable for Andhra Pradesh.

It may be noted that while West Bengal is giving Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per person per month, Tamil Nadu is giving Rs 500 per month. Sources said Andhra may fix the monthly allowance at Rs 2,000. The assistance will be for 2-3 years and first preference would be given to those who are registered with employment exchanges and bureaus for last five years. Only one unemployed person in a family would receive the benefit.

The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet sub-committee also suggested that while giving benefits to unemployed people, they should also be asked if they would volunteer to do any community work in lieu of the dole. The government may request beneficiaries to participate in community development projects in villages. The Andhra government also proposes to hike the budgetary allocation to Rs 1,000 crore. The government has also allocated Rs 398 crore to impart skill development and entrepreneur training to the unemployed youth.

Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, who heads the sub-committee, said that steps are being taken by the Andhra government to impart skill development and training and create more job opportunities for youth.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had promised in its 2014 election manifesto that it would ensure at least one job for each family in the state and a financial assistance of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 to unemployed youth.