Govt estimated 9 lakh applications this fiscal, 11 lakh already received

The flow of applications for unemployment allowance hasn't stopped. While a budgetary provision in the current year was made for an estimated nine lakh applicants, the number has already crossed 11 lakh three months before the end of the financial year and applications are coming in daily.

Sources in the Directorate of Training and Employment (DoPT), which is implementing the scheme, said the number of applicants in the scheme had reached 11.6 lakh in the beginning of this week and, of them, 9.5 lakh had already been processed and accepted. The remaining applications are still under evaluation.

Every day, around 1,000 to 1,500 applications are being received at various employment exchanges across the state. "By the end of this financial year, the number would increase by at least another lakh," said an official.

Officials say funds will not be a problem in spite of more applications than the estimated numbers. "This year, Rs 1,100 crore was allocated which is enough for 12 months of allowance for an estimated 9 lakh beneficiaries," said Anil Kumar, Director, Training and Employment.

But the beneficiaries become eligible for the allowance from the first date of the month succeeding the month of submission of their applications, which means that all applicants this year will not be getting the dole for all 12 months.

On top of it, the scheme rolled out from May 2012, hence the first batch of beneficiaries started getting their allowance from June 2012. But the government will have to increase the budgetary allocation next year, Kumar said.

The directorate has already distributed cheques of the allowance to around 60,000 beneficiaries and the process of online transfer of money has begun for another 4 lakh beneficiaries, enrolled till August 31, 2012.

The unemployment allowance, a pre-poll promise of the Samajwadi Party, was one of the first decisions taken by the Akhilesh government after coming to power.

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