Job sop: SP govt unable to decide on age cap

SP said unemployment allowance will be given to those who are 35 or above. Now,it is having second thoughts.

Written by SURBHI KHYATI | Luucknow | Published:May 4, 2012 4:07 am

After first announcing that unemployment allowance will be given to those who are 35 or above,the Samajwadi Party government is now having second thoughts on the age limit. While it wants to ensure that the young people get the maximum benefit,there is a lack of consensus on the age-group that should be covered. Complicating the issue is the question of the financial burden of the scheme.

The government is considering three age brackets,namely 25 to 35 years,30 to 40 years and 35 to 45 years. There is also a suggestion that the age bracket for women should be 25 to 35 and for men 30 to 40 years.

“We are reconsidering the age at which the allowance should be given. We are also considering whether the allowance should be given to young people below the age of 35 years,” said Waqar Ahmad Shah,Labour Minister,who heads the group of ministers constituted to come up with the final policy for the scheme. Others in the group are Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhary and Social Welfare Minister Awadhesh Prasad.

At the first cabinet meeting immediately after Akhilesh Yadav was sworn in as Chief Minister,there was a proposal to have an upper age limit of 45 years,but many ministers opposed it. Therefore,it was decided to give the benefit to all first announcing that unemployment allowance will be given to those who are 35 or above,the Samajwadi Party government is now having second thoughts on the age limit. While it wants to ensure that the young people get the maximum benefit,there is a lack of consensus on the age-group that should be covered. Complicating the issue is the question of the financial burden of the scheme.

The government is considering three age brackets,namely 25 to 35 years,30 to 40 years and 35 to 45 years. There is also a suggestion that the age bracket for women should be 25 to 35 and for men 30 to 40 years.

“We are reconsidering the age at which the allowance should be given. We are also considering whether the allowance should be given to young people below the age of 35 years,” said Waqar Ahmad Shah,Labour Minister,who heads the group of ministers constituted to come up with the final policy for the scheme. Others in the group are Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhary and Social Welfare Minister Awadhesh Prasad.

At the first cabinet meeting immediately after Akhilesh Yadav was sworn in as Chief Minister,there was a proposal to have an upper age limit of 45 years,but many ministers opposed it. Therefore,it was decided to give the benefit to all unemployed 35 years of above.

Later,it was realised that the relaxation in age would raise the financial burden far beyond Rs 1,000 crore annually,as was initially thought.

“We expect the amount to go up every year as more people enrol,” said an official,adding,“If the beneficiaries aren’t within a ten-year age group,the cost would just shoot up.’’ The government is also considering inclusion of a provision of taking some work from the beneficiaries. “We do not want to make the people lazy by distributing money. Our first priority is to provide jobs to the youth. If they are unable to get a job,only then will we give them allowance,” said Shah.

The work provided to the beneficiary will be of temporary nature but it will be mandatory to complete the allotted job in order to get the allowance. This may deter those looking for easy money,said an official.

The works allotted will be according to the educational qualification of the beneficiaries. The distribution of work will be managed by the District Magistrates.

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