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Unemployment committee met 4 times in 3 years

A committee formed to tackle the problem of unemploy- ment has ironically failed at its job. Its tardy pace of work means that in the last two and a half year, the members have met only four times. The committee, set up in December 2010, is headed by minister of state for employment and self- employment, and has nine MLAs and MLCs as its members. The last meeting of the committee was held in February this year. The date for the next meeting is yet to be decided.

Government sources told this newspaper that the committee, under the chairmanship of the then MoS Gulabrao Deokar, met thrice in 2011, and once in 2013. From August 2011 to February 2013, the committee did not have a single meeting. After Deokar’s exit from the state cabinet in June this year, the present incumbent Sanjay Sawkare is yet to call a fresh meeting.

When contacted, Congress MLC Suresh Navale, who is a member of the committee, said he was unaware of the reasons why regular meetings were not being held. “In the last meeting, we were told that the committee would soon undertake a study tour of China, as the government of China, despite having the largest population, was successfully dealing with the unemployment issue,” he said.

When asked about the current status of the committee, MoS Sanjay Sawkare said he was trying to speed up the work. “I was a member of the committee before taking over as the chairman from Gulabrao Deokar. The committee lacks adequate budgetary provisions and we are trying to sort it out by holding discussions with the Finance department,” he clarified.

Speaking about the China tour, Sawkare said visits to China and South Korea, along with a visit to Gujarat, had been discussed. “A draft, along with a presentation, is ready and we will try to submit our final report soon,” he added.

The committee
The committee under MoS employment and self-employment was formed in December 2010 after a debate held in the State Legislature. It has nine legislators – five from the NCP, two each from the Congress and BJP, and one from the Shiv Sena, as its members.

In fact, a cabinet committee, comprising seven ministers was formed in August 2010 to deal with the same issue, with the minister for employment and self-employment as its head. The committee under MoS was asked to submit its report to the cabinet committee within two months of its formation. It is almost three years and the committee is yet to hand in its report.

The Committee Agenda
Besides suggesting effective measures to attend to the issues faced by educated unemployed youths, sources say the committee has six points on its agenda as listed below:
>> Making employment and self-employment services effective
>> Strengthening the guidance centres set up for the unemployed
>> Types of training that should be offered to educated unemployed youths
>> Improving the guidance and advice offered to educated unemployed youth
>> Suggesting measures on coordinating schemes offered by various departments, with the employment and self-employment department
>> Examining the report on jobs for sons-of-the-soil submitted by the committee headed by the principal secretary, and suggesting ways to implement it

24.04 lakh
No of educated registered with state employment and self-employment guidance centres, as on Dec 31, 2012 

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