Populist gesture comes with various conditions

The Akhilesh Yadav government has decided to give an allowance of Rs. 1,000 a month to unemployed persons in the 30-40 age group who have passed the Class X examination.

Also, only those who registered themselves in employment exchanges in Uttar Pradesh on or before March 15 will be entitled to the dole. The allowance will be given in three quarterly instalments.

The decision, approved at a Cabinet meeting presided over Chief Minister on Friday, will benefit about nine lakh people.

Following the formation of the Samajwadi Party government on March 15 this year, lakhs of boys and girls, and even middle-aged men and women, registered themselves in the employment exchanges in the hope of getting the allowance. It had been mentioned in Mr. Yadav's election manifesto and his subsequent statements that all jobless persons above 35 were to be given unemployment allowance.

By fixing the cut-off age at 40 and fixing the minimum eligibility age at 30, the government has tried to strike a balance and keep the financial commitment within limit. The disbursement of the dole to 9 lakh beneficiaries will entail an additional expenditure of Rs. 1,113 crore in the current financial year (2012-13), said an official release. Only those jobless persons who are residents of Uttar Pradesh and are presently residing in the State will be entitled to the benefit.

The Cabinet also fixed the income limit of the beneficiaries. Accordingly, only those whose family income (husband and wife's) is less than Rs. 36,000 a year, and less than Rs. 1.5 lakh after the income of parents or in-laws is added, will be entitled to the allowance. The beneficiaries have to get themselves registered in the employment exchanges across the State by March 15 of the financial year with the dole being given in the next financial year.

The Cabinet also approved an increase in the monthly honorarium of anganwadi workers. The increase, ranging from Rs. 1,500 to 3,000 for workers of different categories and educational qualifications, will be applicable with retrospective effect from April 1, 2011.

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