Business Idea Competition to promote Entrepreneurship in Meghalaya

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Representational Image. (Image Credit: Warrington College of Business)

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy, through his maiden address in the State Assembly on March 8, 2019, marking the beginning of the Budget session stated that Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government led by National People’s Party (NPP) headed by Conrad Kongkal Sangma was making concerted efforts to improve the standard of living of the people through better governance. He also stressed that the government is particularly focused on enhancing service delivery in the health and education sectors and making larger investments in physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, power and drinking water supply.

The Governor’s Address was boycotts by the Opposition Congress over Roy’s call to boycott “everything Kashmiri” following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.

It may be recalled that while observing the first year of the MDA government, Conrad opted to keep the review meeting, instead of any celebration. The meeting pointed out that unemployment rate in the state is below the national average. Chief Minister stated that Job creation will be one of the main priorities for his government, he is also hopeful that all the actions taken in the last one year will continue and they will be able to create more jobs for the youth.

According to Conrad, entrepreneurship was the way forward to tackle unemployment and the government had launched several projects. In the case of Meghalaya, every project is aimed at economic development, which will lead to job creation. He assured that in the coming years, the country and Meghalaya will see a huge inflow of youth to the job market.

Not wasting any time, the government has decided to conduct Business Idea Competition to promote Entrepreneurship in Meghalaya, where the winner will get the prize money of Rs 20,000. The Business Idea is to be sent to the nearest Enterprise Facilitation Centre in writing before March 24, 2019.

The Business idea from the competitor needs to have a strong background so that the tribals from this region don’t have irrational fear to work outside the state. However, the small percentage of the indigenous tribals who are working outside do not work for long, only to come back home and add up more numbers of unemployed youths.

Here in the state, the state government is yet to set up any employment cell or youth counselling, especially for career. The recruitment cell is practically nil due to absence of industry. The frustrated youths simply set up organization and pressure groups, expecting the state government to create jobs for them. At the same time, they will never venture out to set up even a cottage industry which will not only generate revenue, but also provide employment.

Here in the state, the District Industries Centre (DIC) or Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) does not actually conduct research for probable industries, nor do they have state based industries. Most of the list of industries mentioned by the authorities needs technical know-how, and able human resources, which not all the youths here have the knowledge of.

Secondly, the bank loan and formalities to register any industries is not entrepreneur friendly, hence many give up halfway through the process. A single window system is the need of the hour when it comes to youth seeking loan to set up industry.

Besides that, due to the absence of railway line, the cost of transportation is high, but the youths here will not allow the setting up of railway due to fear of influx. How does one expect to have continuous inflow of raw materials for the industry?

The state government needs to understand the requirement of the state; the government departments need more research rather than burying self in files. It is high time that this 47 year old state should take up more research work, which will ultimately benefit the younger generation in the state.

Also, the Human Resources remain untapped here. Hence, the state government should encourage research to enable the students to have the best, at the same time groom the youths towards their desire, because some youths may be frustrated but a human resource will not be frustrated if they are trained.

Hence, the authorities concerned must extend their research and executions based on human resources available and direct them to explore the state and set up industry. Meanwhile the authorities concerned should conduct workshops and recruitment rally for the youths. This will enable them to be more resourceful and training and developing the youths into a resourceful individual; this is also help curb Law and Order problems.

If Conrad is serious about promoting entrepreneurship, his government should amend the Industrial Policy, and relaxing the Trading Licences for new ventures and corporation, which the local do not want to venture into, which can lead to job creation for the local youths. Unless, such hurdles are removed, it is impossible to talk about job avenues in Meghalaya.