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Odisha Govt Introduces ‘Swayam’ Scheme For Youth Empowerment

In a significant move towards empowering the youth of Odisha, the state government has unveiled the ‘Swayam’ scheme aimed at providing interest-free loans to young entrepreneurs. This initiative, announced by Odisha Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain, underscores the government’s commitment to fostering self-employment opportunities and economic growth.

Empowering Youth with Interest-Free Loans:

  • Under the ‘Swayam’ scheme, eligible rural and urban youth aged between 18-35 years will have access to interest-free loans of up to Rs 1 lakh.
  • This financial support is intended to facilitate the establishment of new businesses or the expansion of existing ones, thereby catalyzing entrepreneurship and job creation across the state.

State Government’s Commitment to Economic Inclusion:

  • Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Minister Swain highlighted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s vision to uplift rural and urban youth by providing them with greater avenues for economic prosperity.
  • The decision to offer interest-free loans reflects the government’s recognition of the financial challenges faced by small-scale entrepreneurs and its dedication to alleviating them.

Recognition of Marginalized Communities:

  • Minister Swain emphasized Chief Minister Patnaik’s understanding of the economic struggles faced by marginalized communities.
  • By extending support to OBCs, backward classes, and the most backward classes, the government aims to address longstanding disparities and foster inclusive growth.

Key Features of the ‘Swayam’ Scheme

  • Eligibility: Rural and urban youth aged 18-35 years.
  • Loan Amount: Up to Rs 1 lakh.
  • Purpose: Starting new businesses or expanding existing ones.
  • Duration: Operational for two years.
  • Budget Allocation: Rs 672 crore from the state’s coffers.

Additional Measures for Socio-Economic Welfare

  • In addition to the ‘Swayam’ scheme, the Odisha government has approved several other initiatives aimed at enhancing socio-economic welfare:
  • 1)Provision of Jute Bags: Each PDS family will receive two jute bags free of cost, contributing to sustainable living practices and reducing plastic usage.
  • 2)Livelihood Assistance: A one-time livelihood assistance of Rs 1,000 per family will be provided, requiring a budget allocation of Rs 959.05 crore.
  • 3)Mukhyamantri Maschyajibi Kalyan Yojana (MMKY): The umbrella scheme, with a total budget outlay of nearly Rs 448 crore, underscores the government’s holistic approach towards fisheries sector development and welfare measures for fishermen.

‘Swayam’ Scheme and Socio-Economic Welfare Initiatives

  • The introduction of the ‘Swayam’ scheme and other welfare initiatives by the Odisha government signifies a concerted effort towards inclusive growth and socio-economic empowerment.
  • By prioritizing youth entrepreneurship and addressing the needs of marginalized communities, the government is laying the foundation for a more equitable and prosperous future for the people of Odisha.

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