Fulfilling his key promise, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday launched the much awaited unemployment allowance scheme in the state.
As many as 10,500 youth received cheques of Rs 1,000 each at an impressive function organized on the sprawling grounds of Colvin Taluqdar's College in Lucknow.
The remaining 5 lakh beneficiaries identified by the government, will receive the allowance on a quarterly basis, through electronic transfer, directly into their bank accounts.
A total of about 9 lakh youth were estimated to gain under this unemployment allowance scheme.
Unemployed youth in the age group of 25- 40 years are entitled under the scheme to receive a monthly dole of Rs 1,000 until they get some employment.
Among the other criterion for the eligibility was a registration with employment office as on August 31, a minimum qualification of High School and an annual family income of not more than Rs 36,000.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister described the scheme as "fulfillment of the biggest commitment made by me during the elections."
He said, "This is a historic step towards empowerment of the youth and it is a proud moment for me to be implementing it in less than six months of the formation of the Samajwadi Party government."
He further sought to emphasise, "This should reassure the people of the state that we believe in keeping or word; we are in the process of finalising our second most important commitment of giving laptops and tablets to young students."
Akhlesh Yadav did not mince words in expressing his gratitude to the youth for bringing the Samajwadi Party back to power.
"I must confess that the youth did play a major role in getting us the mandate that we received at the last election; it is therefore our turn to repay the youth now", he declared.
Taking the chief minister's statement further, state chief secretary Jawed Usmani pointed out, "While the unemployment allowance is being given to honour the government's promise, our ultimate objective is to provide employment to the youth."
He said, "Various policies -- infrastructure and industrial, agriculture policies have been made and the state would be developed as an investment destination", while adding that 16 major policies and schemes were in the pipeline as the government's 'development agenda'.
He said, "We are confident of increasing industrial production so that more employment opportunities are created and the youth can look up to getting employment instead of unemployment allowance."SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav also spoke on the occasion. Even as he appeared somewhat confused and incoherent on the subject, he sought to point out, "The concept of unemployment allowance was evolved by socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia."