While Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Skill Development Mission on the World Youth Skills Day on Wednesday, the Punjab industry reminds him about the skill development scheme that was discontinued since the NDA government came to power.
The scheme, started in 2011 by the UPA-II, has been kept under review since June 2014. Also the candidates who were trained are yet to be given the Rs 25 crore funds for the year 2013-14.
The Punjab government has received Rs 10 crore from the Centre for disbursal of pending amount, but the amount has not been given to the skill development society that works under the department of industrial training.
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Industrialists opened more than 200 skill centres in Punjab under this scheme after 2011. In 2011, the UPA-II had started the skill development scheme to beat labour shortage.
Under this scheme, the industry was asked to set up skill centres and the Centre had prescribed courses and hours for training workers.
The industries further paid Rs 24 per hour for training workers and after the completion of course, the workers were being absorbed by the industrialists.
Upkar Singh, the owner of new Swan industries and general secretary of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), said, “We have all the infrastructure in our centre and training was given as per requirement of the industry. It is sad that PM Modi has turned a blind eye towards this scheme. On one hand, he says that five crore youths will be made skilled by 2025 and on the other hand, not only there are pending dues but this scheme was also closed.”
Singh has a skill development centre inside his unit. “To get a computer numerical controller operator, we need to impart training for 240 hours as per the course of the Union government. For running advanced turning machine, 120 hours course is needed. Therefore, the government was paying for these hours at Rs 24 per hour. We were getting labour as per our requirement as the government-run skill centres are inadequate,” he added.
The NDA government has made a separate ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship, but failed to meet the expectations of industrialists, said Avtar Singh, the president of CICU.
Jagjit Singh, the joint director of the Skill Development Mission, confirmed that Rs 25 crore is due and yet to be paid to candidates who were trained.