In a bid to appease local youth, the BJP-led Haryana government has announced a scheme for the educated unemployed. The Shikshit Yuva Sammanit Huva is an employment sop that promises hundred hours of work in a month to the unemployed post graduate youth at INR 9000.
Touted as a populist move by experts, the present Haryana government is trying hard to lure its youth, considering that the State is ready to go for the polls in two and half years. The scheme does not address the deep-seated problems of unemployment, and neither does it build a long-term engagement or growth path for the youth.
As Prof. Minaketan Behera of Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi says, “the scheme is good on a short term basis as a lot of students after passing out are finding it difficult to sustain livelihood. Employment is a big challenge in the current scenario”. Prof Behera adds, “it is important that the government focusses on capacity building and income generation for long term sustainability. All youths may not be academically strong, and for them government needs to provide trainings which are job friendly”. He stresses that this can be a stopgap arrangement for youth but more efforts needs be put in for long-term sustainability.
Some experts feel while the idea is good there may be problem in execution. The first question that arises is that how will so much work be generated? What if one completes only a part of the hundred hours of work, how is remuneration calculated?
The government has outlined that it is in talks with private sectors to generate work. However, at present, there is no framework as to how the private sector will be roped in, and if at all they are interested in such a scheme. Prof Behera raises several questions as to how this public private partnership will work and how far it will be feasible. Even if the private sector does agree to the scheme, do they have to share the payments too? Moreover, do they have to pay the government or to the youth directly.
Prof. G S Mehta of Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow, says there could be a scenario like MNREGA where the rural youth are happy with the temporary work and are no longer interested in full time employment. There is also the issue of implementation like in MNREGA where the private sector and NGOs are involved but due to undue political pressure, they can’t function adequately. Will this scheme face similar problems?
Then there is the obvious burden on the tax payer with a scheme that will cost the exchequer a whopping 344 crores. Haryana currently has 1100 youths registered with the employment exchange. Another 30,000 are expected to register after the announcement of the scheme. No other state governments have such a scheme in place – thus the big question remains about new schemes efficacy.