- This scheme aids in Youth Employment and the Green Revolution.
- The government plans to replace the entire fleet of around 3,000 HRTC buses with e-buses.
In a significant move to boost employment opportunities and promote eco-friendly initiatives, the Himachal Pradesh government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, has introduced a groundbreaking scheme. Aimed at unemployed youth aged 23 and above, this scheme offers a substantial 50 per cent subsidy on loans to purchase e-taxis and e-buses, with no requirement for collateral guarantees. This initiative aligns with the government’s vision to create jobs and transform Himachal Pradesh into a green state by 2026.
Under the scheme, eligible individuals can avail of a generous subsidy. For instance, if the cost of an e-taxi amounts to Rs 20 lakh, a subsidy of Rs 10 lakh will be granted. These e-taxis will be allocated to various government departments, ensuring a monthly income of approximately Rs 40,000 for beneficiaries, as confirmed by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. The scheme’s launch, known as the e-taxi scheme, marks the commencement of the first phase of the Rs 680 crore Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Start-up Yojna. Simultaneously, the Transport Department introduced a dedicated website to facilitate online registration, simplifying the application process.
Chief Minister Sukhu emphasized that this youth-centric scheme was a key promise outlined in the Congress Party’s Pratigya Patra. In the initial phase, 500 permits will be issued, with the possibility of increasing the number in response to demand in the near future. The government’s commitment to employment generation and environmental sustainability is evident, as they offer a 50 percent subsidy to unemployed youth for the acquisition of e-taxis and e-buses, eliminating the need for collateral guarantees when seeking bank loans. Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu revealed these details during interactions with the media.
Once an e-taxi permit is granted, it will be registered with the Labor Department. This registration facilitates the loan process without requiring collateral guarantees, with the margin money deposited and the subsidy disbursed directly through banks for taxi purchases. To ensure the smooth operation of e-vehicles, charging stations will be established at all Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum petrol pumps. Additionally, the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and State Electricity Board will collaborate to set up e-charging stations along six designated corridors. In a bid to promote e-buses in the private sector, Initially, 350 e-buses will be acquired, followed by an additional 1,500 e-buses over three years. The government has already issued 24 e-bus permits, with a substantial subsidy of Rs 50 lakh earmarked for e-buses costing Rs 1 crore.
The scheme’s second phase will encourage youth to establish solar energy projects, with the draft being finalized for its imminent launch. Additionally, under the third phase, youth engagement in agriculture-related work will be incentivized, including a 90 percent subsidy for pisciculture projects. This comprehensive approach underscores the government’s commitment to employment, sustainability, and youth empowerment in Himachal Pradesh.