Lucknow, Sep 8 (IANS) The Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh is Sunday set to fulfil its biggest poll promise - paying an unemployment allowance.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav would hand out cheques for Rs.1,000 to 10,337 initial beneficiaries.
A total of 4.44 lakh people had applied for the allowance, out of which about 90,000 were found eligible.
The government planned to pay around nine lakh people and had made a provision of Rs.697.24 crore in the 2012-13 budget.
The eligible candidates would get Rs.1,000 on a quarterly basis.
While the chief minister will Sunday hand over cheques to selected people from the Lucknow district, the other ministers have been asked to do the same in their districts.
Government officials Saturday were busy overseeing preparations for the grand event.
Water-proof tents have been erected at the venue -- the grounds of Colvin Taluqdar's College -- to accommodate the crowd.
As many as 223 UP State Transport Corporation Roadways buses have been pressed into service to bring beneficiaries from Ramabai Ambedkar rally grounds, where they are staying, to the venue.The government has made several amendments in the eligibility criterion of the beneficiaries after people reacted poorly to the sop announcement.
The age criteria was brought down from 30 to 25 and beneficiaries will not have to work against the allowance.
Bringing down of the age limit has however invited criticism from opposition parties.
State BJP spokesman Vijay Pathak said SP was "spoon-feeding youngsters who are ripe at the age of 25 for jobs".