The debt-burdened West Bengal government Thursday launched yet another dole scheme - Yabasree - under which the unemployed youth will be given Rs 1,500 monthly allowance. The beneficiaries - about one lakh in the first phase - are expected to use the money to enhance their skills by enrolling themselves with a vocational course.
We are up to our eyes in debt,but that does not mean we will do away with our social responsibilities. This is more of a pocket money to the unemployed youth ahead of the pujas. They would be delighted to get it, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said after launching the scheme.
She said the existing employment exchange was a useless tool and that the state initiative of Employment Bank was more effective. We urge employers to take people from the employment bank. In the government sector too,we will try to fill 75 per cent of the vacancies from there. There will also be a scheme under which 50,000 of those who had enrolled with employment bank would be given technical training every year, she added.
The state has allocated Rs 92.7 crore for Yubasree scheme. Flanked by cabinet ministers and Tollywood actors such as Dev,Jishhu,Soham and Abir,Mamata said that in the last two years,three lakh people had been provided jobs in various government sectors,4-5 lakh had found employment in cottage industries and private companies had employed over five lakh people.
Huge investment is awaited in the near future with companies like DVC planning to invest Rs 50,000 cr and SAIL to put in Rs 20,000 in the state. These would further open up a lot of other employment opportunities, she said.
About 10,000 people across the state were given cheques today at the event and the rest,she said,would get the cheques through the DM office.
There were different reactions among beneficiaries though. Some,like Arun Kumar Mahato from Purulia said he would try to enroll himself with a technical course but doubted that the amount would not suffice. I want to do a course in computer hardware engineering but it costs a lot more than what is being given, he said.
Others like Dipankar Saha from Jalpaiguri said,I will have a rocking time with friends during the puja with the money.
Beneficiaries have been asked to submit a progress report every six months as to how they had utilised the allowance in their skill development.