No takers for unemployment allowance in Kerala

Representational image.

Thiruvananthapuram: There are not many takers for the unemployment allowance in Kerala despite the state being home to around 30 lakh unemployed individuals.

An allowance of Rs 120 for every unemployed person was introduced under the Unemployment Allowance Scheme in 1982, and the amount still remains unchanged.

A majority of the unemployed are being denied the meagre allowance since the scheme has an annual family income ceiling of Rs 12,000.

Though the State Employment Directorate under the Labour Department had recommended raising the ceiling to Rs 24,000 and the allowance to Rs 250 from Rs 120 a year ago, no decision has been made on the suggestion.

Employment Directorate statistics point out that those getting the unemployment allowance in the State has shrunk to 24,000 from 3.24 lakh in five years. Excluding those in the employment guarantee scheme, too, significantly slashed the number of beneficiaries.

The Unemployment Allowance Scheme was rolled out for those aged between 18 and 35 who have registered themselves with the employment exchanges after passing Class 10. Initially, the amount was Rs 80, which was later hiked to Rs 120.

Currently, Kerala has 29,17,007 registered unemployed people, of whom 18.52 lakh are women.

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