Hyderabad: The Telangana state government’s proposal to extend unemployment allowance of Rs 2,000 per month to unemployed youth from this year seems to have been nipped in the bud. The finance department which studied the pros and cons of the scheme is learnt to have submitted a report to government stating that unemployment allowance is not feasible at this juncture.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had asked the finance department to explore the possibility of the Rs 2,000 per month unemployment allowance in order to counter the Opposition’s claim that the TRS government has failed to provide jobs in its four-year rule. The Congress declared that it will give Rs 3,000 unemployment allowance if it is elected to power in 2019.
The finance department says there are no reliable statistics available with any department on the number of unemployed in the state, and the funds could easily be siphoned off if the scheme is implemented in a hurry. It estimated that there could be around 20 lakh unemployed in the state so the allowance would cost the state exchequer Rs 4,800 crore every year. It was actually the Telugu Desam that had promised unemployment allowance in its manifesto for the 2014 elections, and though it won in Andhra Pradesh, it has not yet provided any unemployment allowance.
The allowance was not part of the TRS manifesto in 2014 and is being raised now to counter the Opposition’s attack and pacify unemployed youth be-fore the 2019 polls. Unemploy-ment figures are obtained fr-om employment exchanges, TSPSC and the intensive ho-usehold survey done in August 2014. Employment exchanges cannot give reliable figures as hardly anyone registers with them apart from those with basic Class VII to X qualification.
Around 18 lakh candidates were registered with the TS Public Service Commission. But TSPSC data too cannot be relied upon as some candidates already have jobs in the private sector and just attempt to get a government job, while others may be working in government departments but are aiming for higher positions and attempt the Group-I, Group-II recruitment exams. In the intensive household survey done on a single day, no reliable data on employability was collected.
“There is no way the government can identify whether a person is employed or unemployed. The only thing the government can do is to seek an affidavit on stamp paper from candidates declaring that they are unemployed and liable for stringent action and penalty if found to be making false claim. Besides, the unemployed data thus obtained could be cross verified with recruitment agencies, Aadhaar, I-T data, bank data, etc to verify whether such claims are genuine,” an official source said.
Officials have proposed that to bring down the financial burden to some extent, the government could consider only those unemployed persons who are graduates and in the age group of 18 to 30 years. “If that could be done, we could get around 15 lakh applications. But if there are no such restrictions, this figure could cross the 30 lakh mark,” they added....