The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government will provide motorcycles to nearly two lakhs youths, under the ‘Karma Sathi’ scheme, to make them self-reliant in starting a business.
The decision was reportedly taken by CM Banerjee on November 4 with the aim to help nearly 10 lakh people, who are dependent on the two lakh beneficiaries.
“Each motorcycle will be fitted with a detachable box where the beneficiaries can keep and sell items like fruits, vegetables, clothes and other daily essentials. This will not only make them self-reliant but also benefit nearly 10 lakh people associated with them,” Banerjee said, adding that the beneficiaries will be provided with soft loans from state co-operative banks and the state government will assist them in the whole process.
The ‘Karma Sathi’ scheme aims to provide financial assistance and help to prospective young entrepreneurs. Soft loan and subsidy will be provided for taking up any new income-generating project in the manufacturing, service, and trading/business sector up to Rs 2 lakh.
These loans will be provided by the State-owned Cooperative Bank on soft terms.
The move is believed to target nearly 27 per cent young voters, between the ages of 18-35, in the state and tap close to 20.1 lakh voters, who cast their votes for the first time in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
As per August ‘20 statistics, the unemployment rate in the state was reduced by 40 per cent. Two months before the ‘August statistics on unemployment’, Banerjee, referring to a report of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), had said, “The unemployment rate in West Bengal stood at 6.5 per cent in June, 2020, which was far better than country’s 11 per cent figure, Uttar Pradesh’s 9.6 per cent and Haryana’s 33.6 per cent.”