CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh is set to flag off the first set of 100 Uber bike taxis under a new scheme aimed at generating jobs for the state’s unemployed youth. Uber’s South Asia public policy director Shweta Rajpal Kohli called on the CM on Monday to finalise the launch of the scheme, which will create another 10,000 job opportunities in Punjab in the next one year. A total of 45,000 jobs would be created under this scheme in the next five years, Kohli said after meeting Amarinder. Amarinder had given the go-ahead to the launch of bike taxis in the state in May as part of the government’s `Apni Gaddi, Apna Rozgar’ programme as promised in the Congress assembly poll manifesto. Under the policy currently being finalised by the Transport Department, existing and new motorcycle owners will be able to get commercial permits and licences to run two-wheelers as pillion taxis. Requiring minimal investment, the scheme is expected to create a major avenue for the unemployed youth to start their business, a spokesperson explained. Besides job creation, the initiative will encourage youth to engage in entrepreneurial business, while facilitating last-mile connectivity for commuters in areas not accessible by regular four-wheeler taxis. The scheme, which is already running successfully in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana, will also help reduce vehicular traffic pressure on the roads, besides controlling pollution. The `Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme, as proposed in the Congress poll manifesto, envisages one lakh taxis, commercial LCVs and other vehicles to be provided to unemployed youth every year at subsidised rates, without collateral and with the government standing guarantee.
The government proposes to tie up with major taxi operators, such as Ola and Uber, to ensure the success of the scheme, under which youngsters will be expected to repay their loan in five years. The other schemes which the government is working on include Yaari Enterprises and Harra Tractor. Under the Harra Tractor scheme, at least 25000 tractors and other agricultural implements will be given to unemployed youth at subsidised rates to enable them to start their own agriculture services ventures. Like the Apni Gaddi scheme, this will also entail guarantee by the state government, with no requirement of collateral and loan repayment over five years in installments. Yaari Enterprises will be aimed at promote small enterprises started by two or more entrepreneurs, through subsidy of 30n per cent up to a maximum investment of Rs. 5 lakh. The scheme envisages setting up of one lakh such enterprises every year from 2017 to 2022.PunjabAmarinderSinghlaunchUberbiketaxiservicePunjabnextweek