Uttar Pradesh Government spent over Rs 12.5 crore in organising functions for distributing unemployment cheques worth Rs 8.5 crore between March-November 2012.

The arrangements made for the functions, organised by Uttar Pradesh government between March-November 2012 where young Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav doled out unemployment allowance cheques, cost the exchequer Rs 12.49 crore, reveals an RTI reply.

The response provided to Lucknow-based RTI activist Urvashi Sharma shows that during the functions allowance cheques worth Rs 8.54 crore were distributed to the people.

Although the data was given in the bracket of March-November for the fiscal 2012-13, the distribution of unemployment cheques started on September 9 last year when Mr. Yadav distributed first set of Rs 1000 cheques to 10,500 youths at a function in Lucknow.

The scheme which was the main plank of wooing young voters by the Samajwadi Party is likely to reach over eight lakh youth in the State.

Under the scheme, Rs 1,000 per month is given to eligible persons in the 25-40 age group till they get employment.

The scheme is intended to benefit matriculate or above educated youths who had registered with employment office as on August 31, 2012.

The scheme can be availed by only those persons whose per annum family income is Rs 36,000 or less. The state government has also introduced quarterly transfer of allowance through electronic transfer in their bank accounts.

“This is utter misuse of public funds. UP Government now stands exposed as in the name of helping weaker sections it is promoting the Samajwadi Party in the wake of upcoming 2014 General elections,” Rita Bahuguna Joshi, former State Congress Chief, said.