FM Announces Stipends for 47 Lakh Youth, but No Allocation Made Under Apprenticeship Scheme

While the allocation under National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme in Budget Estimate 2023-24 is nil, a sum of Rs 348.99 crore has been set aside under Skill India Programme.

New Delhi: While finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Budget speech that a direct benefit transfer (DBT) pan-India National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme will be rolled out under which stipend will be provided to 47 lakh youth in three years, a look at the expenditure budget reveals that no amount has been budgeted under the scheme in FY 2023-2024.

Overall for the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), which covers all the skill development schemes, the Budget Estimate for FY 23 was Rs 393.75 crore but due to a much lower outgo, the Revised Estimate for FY23 was pegged at Rs 235.57 crore.

For the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, Rs 25.40 crore was budgeted in FY23 and the revised estimate was pegged at Rs 32.87 crore. However, under Demand No. 92, point 273.01 no allocation has been made under the scheme in the Budget Estimate for FY 24.

On the other hand, for the upcoming financial year, a sum of Rs 348.99 crore has been provided in the Budget Estimate under the head Skill India Programme. No allocation was made under this category earlier.

The stipend scheme has raised eyebrows as it comes just a year before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

In her speech, Sitharaman spoke about a number of skilling initiatives which the government would introduce as part of PMKVY 4.0 over the next three years. She said these would include providing stipends to 47 lakh youth, setting up of Skill India Digital Platform and building 30 Skill India International Centres. “This will enable demand-based formal skilling, link eligible candidates with employers including MSMEs and facilitate access to entrepreneurship schemes.”

The Centre has also announced that it would be introducing on-the-job training across all short-term courses while launching industry-specific new age courses as part of the revamped PMKVY 4.0.