Updated: January 2, 2022 4:50:02 pm
The alliance of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Sunday announced ‘Yuva Shakti Card’, its second major promise ahead of the assembly elections. The scheme targeting Goan youth aged between 18 and 45 provides credit of Rs 20 lakh at 4 per cent interest with the government as the guarantor.
Announcing the scheme on Sunday, Goa TMC leader Kiran Kandolkar said that youth made up for nearly half of the state’s population. “The population between the age group of 18 to 45 in Goa is 7.5 lakh. A lot of times they cannot pursue higher education because the financial condition of their parents is not very good. Sometimes the parents mortgage their house to take the loan and the students carry that weight through their education. Sometimes ancestral houses are in the name of different members of the family and mortgaging the house for one child’s education becomes difficult. To take a loan people have to find someone to stand surety. But in this scheme, there will be no collateral. The government will be the guarantor,” he said.
The scheme is aimed at youth either wanting to pursue higher education or seeking financial support to set up or strengthen their businesses, said the TMC.
TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale said that the scheme does not have any restriction on where the student can pursue higher education or set up their business as long as the person availing the scheme is Goan.
This means Goan students wanting to pursue education abroad or in other states can also avail the universal coverage scheme that has no income cut-off, he said.
Senior MGP leader and MLA Dhavalikar said that the financial management in the state under the BJP government has been “third-class” and if corruption in the government was plugged, not only schemes like Yuva Shakti and Griha Laxmi, the government would be able to address every need of every Goan.
He said that a TMC-MGP government will have the capacity to do that. He said the Yuva Shakti card would also help the state’s agriculturists, who suffered losses when cyclone Tauktae struck, as well as small businessmen to get back up on their feet.
“This is a credit scheme. The youth of Goa are not Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi. We’re expecting and we know that the youth of Goa will honestly pay back the loans that they take. In terms of budget outlay, Rs 35,000 crore of Goan money is stolen by a bunch of mining companies. This is in the Shah Commission report and this is what the Supreme Court has observed. The maximum outlay for the scheme is Rs 1,100 crore. If the corruption was to be exposed and the money was taken back, there is a lot more that could be done. This is a very small part of it,” Gokhale said.
This is the second major scheme announced by the TMC ahead of Legislative Assembly polls. The first was the Griha Laxmi scheme under which one woman in every household would be eligible to avail Rs 5,000 per month from the government. The Griha Laxmi scheme has already seen over one lakh registrations and the registrations for the Yuva Shakti Scheme began on Sunday. TMC leader Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco asked more and more people to register before the model code of conduct kicks in.
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