Politics

Himachal 70th anniversary: Virbhadra announces new unemployment scheme

16 Apr 2017 | By Anupama Vijayakumar
Virbhadra Singh doles out goodies ahead of elections

Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday unveiled a new unemployment allowance scheme.

The scheme was launched at a function at Chamba, celebrating the 70th anniversary of founding the state. Cheques worth Rs.1000 were handed out to 10 beneficiaries to officially launch the scheme.

Providing an appraisal of the state's performance on various counts, Singh also handed out various state-level honours at the function.

In context: Virbhadra Singh doles out goodies ahead of elections

16 Apr 2017Himachal 70th anniversary: Virbhadra announces new unemployment scheme

BackgroundWhy is this being done now?

Virbhadra Singh of the Congress Party hopes to serve as CM for the sixth term, a feat so far not achieved by governments before.

Singh hopes to keep the Modi wave at bay and replicate Amarinder Singh's success in Punjab through his "Mission Repeat".

Singh's latest proclamations are to be seen in the background of impending state assembly polls in November.

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Will corruption charges hinder Mission Repeat?

Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh are accused of amassing assets worth Rs. 6.03 crore during Singh's term as Union minister of steel (2009-2011). The CBI filed charge sheet against him on 31st March, while the Delhi HC, dismissed Singh's plea to quash the FIR.

FeaturesWhat is being proposed under the new unemployment scheme?

Under the scheme monthly allowances worth Rs. 1000 and Rs. 1500 are to be provided to unemployed youth with 10+2 and above qualification and to disabled youth respectively. This is expected to benefit 1,50,000 youth.

The scheme reduces period of regularization of contractual employment from 5 to 3 years.

The government has also allocated Rs. 500crore to skill development schemes aimed at increasing employability.

Skill development schemes in Himachal Pradesh

According to official figures, skill development allowance has been provided to 1,52,000 youth. The Kaushal Vikas Nigam has further been instituted as part of implementing the Rs. 640 crore Asian Development Bank skill development programme, targeting around 65,000 youth.

DetailsWhat has been achieved so far?

Speaking on the progress the state has made, the CM noted the state now has 119 degree colleges with 42 of them starting to function in the past four years.

The total road length now exceeds 37,000 kms with 3138 out of 3226 Panchayats so far connected by roads.

The health sector saw enhancements including opening 21 Civil Hospitals and 96 Primary Health Centres.

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What has been done under social welfare schemes?

As per figures cited by the CM, 3,89,168 people have been provided social welfare pension worth Rs. 650 for the past four years. The pension is to be hiked to Rs. 700 in 2017-18, with Rs. 410 crore being allocated for the same.