Handicrafts Dept. distributed 4.04 cr stipend to trainees; got vanished, no jobs created: CAG

The latest CAG report has revealed that the Handicrafts department distributed a stipend of more than 4 crore to over 14000 trainees but they vanished soon after defeating the sole purpose of creating jobs for the unemployed youth between 2007-2012 in the state.

According to the CAG report, “between 2007-12 over 14000 youth were enrolled from eight districts of the state for receiving training but they left the training half way and did not adopt craft as a profession after receiving stipend amounting to Rs 4.04 crore”.handicraft

Exposing the working of the Handicrafts department  CAG has also revealed that out of 31625 persons selected in 26 crafts during the period 2007-12 no male candidate was selected by the department in violation of the selection rules.

CAG has also observed in its report tabled in the state assembly that the main objective of the programme was to generate employment in the Handicraft sector but the same was defeated  and an expenditure of 15.43 crore incurred on stipend,purchase of raw material,rent of training centres during the period 2007-12 was largely rendered unproductive owing to poor planning and lack of interest shown by the trainees in establishing their units after the training.

Audit observed that the department had not initiated any action to recover stipend of 4.04 crore from 14545 trainees .The Handicrafts department  runs 464 training centres, 145 in Jammu and 319 in Kashmir province for imparting training in 33 crafts.

According to the CAG report the training centres of the department were under utilised as only 53 percent entrepreneurs were trained in these centres during 2007-08 to 2011-12.

The CAG also observed that the department had not formulated any system for selection of candidates for trainings. Audit observed that 503 trainees of 65 training centres of seven test checked districts managed to get themselves enrolled for trainings in the same craft repeatedly thereby rendering expenditure of 16.58 lakh incurred thereon unproductive.

The CAG report has exposed the poor  planning and performance of the Handicraft department  when it comes to providing employment opportunity for those who were trained across 464 training centres in the state during the last five years.

During the period  the sole purpose of imparting training to unemployed for generating employment through formation of cooperative societies was also not achieved as only meagre number of cooperative societies was formed for organising the trainees.

According to CAG report, against an intake capacity of 58600 persons in 464 training centres of the department only 30901 persons (53 percent ) were trained  during the period 2007-08 to 2011-12.

Further 371 cooperatives societies involving 4095 trainees (13 percent) were formed during 2007-08 to 2011-12 against the requirement of 2809 cooperative societies.

The Assistant Directors,Handicrafts  in March -April 2012 attributed poor performance of the programme to lack of interest among trainees to set up units.

As per the condition specified in the notification for selection of candidates, the department may recover the stipend along with penalities if the trainees leave the course midway or do not adopt the craft as their profession.

The Assistant Directors,Handicraft in March/April/June 2012 that it was not possible to  recover the stipend from the drop out trainees or trainees who had not established their units.

The Assistant Directors,Handicrafts  in March -April 2012 stated that utmost care would be taken in future so that the candidates who had already received training do not get selected again.

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