Unemployment dole in UP a cushion against price rise

Unemployment dole in UP a cushion against price rise

The Uttar Pradesh government may have launched the unemployment allowance scheme to give some help to the army of the unemployed in the state as they look for suitable openings, but many see it as add-on income to help them in the time of skyrocketing prices.

According to the state labour department officials, the number of applicants is expected to touch a whopping 50 lakh in next few months.

The growing number has put the officials in a fix while adding to the financial woes of a state which had an accumulated debt burden of around Rs two lakh crore at the end of the last financial year.

The scheme was launched by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav last week at a grand function in the state capital.

Undeserving avail it

Officials do not rule out the possibility of many ineligible candidates getting the benefits
Though the income cap for the beneficiaries has been kept at Rs 36,000 per annum including the income of other members of the family, sources said a large number of applicants may have submitted false income certificates and affidavits.

Complaints received

Sources said officials have received complaints that a large number of married women, who have registered themselves for the dole, have not declared the correct income of their husbands.  Also, many of these women have preferred to remain unemployed on their own free will.

“I cannot work as I have to look after the family,” said a woman who has registered herself for the benefit. She admitted that her husband's income was much more than Rs 36,000 annually, but added that it was not sufficient.

“Rising prices have made life difficult and the unemployment dole will come in handy in mitigating our miseries,” she said.

“There may be many such women,” an official said. Officials intend to look into the issue.

Insufficient funds

Though the government had earmarked Rs 1,100 crore in the budget for the scheme, the increase in the numbers would, according to the officials, require additional funds.

The spurt, officials say, was witnessed only after the provision for compulsory work for the dole was withdrawn. Till January this year, over 10 lakh people had registered for the allowance. The number jumped to 29 lakh by May and went further went up to over 37 lakh.

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