It is high time the unemployed youth of the country is covered under social security, urged noted economist Debapriya Bhattacharya.
"A legislation guaranteeing work for the unemployed youth is necessary, just as the food security law and the anti-discrimination law," he remarked at the opening ceremony of the twelfth national conference of Bangladesh Youth Union at the capital's Shahbagh yesterday.
"Say we provide Tk1,000 to all the unemployed youth in the society, it will not take more than 0.2% of the GDP," he said, stressing the need to support the country's youth.
Citing latest census data, Debapriya said, there are five crore youths in the country and one of three of them is unemployed.
He pointed out that frustration often builds up among the youth driving some to even commit suicide.
"Many get influenced by extremist ideologies while some end up in drug addiction. This is an alarming matter for us," he said, adding, "To protect the youth from these, productive employment must be created."
Debapriya Bhattacharya, who is a Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow, brought up examples of many countries where youth are provided with credit facilities by the government to support their education.
"Such initiative, if introduced, should come with the government's guarantee that the credit limit will meet their education expenses, which will be adjusted after they get employed," he elaborated.
Dr Debapriya also added that it is vital to enlist some 3.5 crore youth who are now eligible to vote as voters.
Youth Union President Hafiz Adnan Riyad chaired the event moderated by General Secretary Khan Asaduzzaman Masum.
Chairman of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of Dhaka University Kaberi Gayen, former president of Youth Union BM Shahidul Haque, presidium member Dr Sajedul Haque Rubel, Jahangir Alam Nannu and former president of the Communist Party Sahidullah Chowdhury spoke at the event among others.