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Chief Secretary for formulating robust entrepreneurship plan to generate large scale employment

Reviews proposals for promotion of local Handicrafts, Industries

SRINAGAR, JULY 8: Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, today had a detailed discussion with experts over a vision document formulated by the Department of Labour & Employment to create an environment for development of entrepreneurship to generate large scale employment in the Union Territory.

Present in the meeting were Director, IIM Jammu, VC, IUST, ACS, Forests, Principal Secretary, Finance, Commissioner Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Secretary, Labour & Employment, Secretary, Planning, DG, Planning and others.

Dulloo, while addressing the meeting, stressed on developing a highly favourable environment for development of entrepreneurship in J&K. He directed for devising a well thought strategy amenable to give rise to an ecosystem of entrepreneurship from grassroots to top level.

He maintained that the broad contours of the strategy should comprise of identification of opportunities, complete awareness among the prospective beneficiaries about such avenues, their capacity building, credit linkage, operationalization of units and finally their handholding to ensure sustainability.

The Chief Secretary also supported having a broad-based mechanism in place for mentoring and counselling of probable entrepreneurs right from the block level with inclusion of big institutions of the UT as innovation and incubation hubs guiding the start-ups. He asked for identification of resource persons who are expert to impart training to our youth.

He emphasised linking of entrepreneurship with regular curriculum in our educational institutions for guidance and motivation of our youth towards this sector of employment generation. He asked for adopting good incentive based approach to encourage our existing enterprises besides having suitable provisions of equity, working capital, interest subvention  and revolving fund to support upcoming enterprises.

Other participants also gave their inputs for implementation of the strategy. They advocated constitution of an Apex body at highest level that would monitor and coordinate the allied activities as per the adopted plan.

The preliminary plan titled as Yuva Udyami Vikas Abhiyan (YUVA), thoroughly debated today, was comprised of extending explicit support to newly emerging nano, micro and small enterprises in the shape of developing culture, infusing capital, enhancing capacity, building connectivity (market linkages) for enabling flourishing environment for these enterprises.

The document also envisages to give rise to enterprises that have the capacity to bring employability for nearly 5 lakh youth of J&K. It also envisions developing an ecosystem by creating mass awareness and bringing forth opportunities in collaboration with banks and other institutions that are viable and sustainable for the future entrepreneurs.

The document envisions transforming the employment and entrepreneurship landscape  of J&K by creating a business friendly environment, equipping the workforce with 21st century skills, providing access to tailored financial products and markets and building human capacity of new and existing businesses to achieve sustainable economic growth within the UT.

Later, another meeting was chaired by the Chief Secretary to have an overview of the prospective plans for large scale promotion of Handicrafts and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in J&K in collaboration with the  World Bank.

Commissioner Secretary, Industries & Commerce, MD, JKTPO, Director Tourism, Jammu/Kashmir, Director Handloom & Handicrafts, Kashmir/Jammu, MD, SIDCO besides other concerned officers attended the meeting.

The Chief Secretary had insights about the broad contours of the proposals prepared by the concerned departments. He called the exercises, carried out by the respective heads, bedrock of the mega promotion plan to be taken up with the World Bank for consideration. He stressed on laying focus on introduction of modern technology, new designs, skill upgradation, credit linkages, marketing interventions while formulating their plans.

While elucidation the strategic investment plan under Raising & Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP), the MD, JKTPO first gave an overview of MSME sector followed by the salient features of RAMP Programme.

The interventions proposed for its promotion included formalization of MSME sector, interest subvention for stressed MSMEs, CGTMSE annual guarantee fee coverage, penetrative of digital financing for MSMEs, branding, packaging and publicity of ODOP/GI products of J&K, arranging buyer-seller meets, raw material & inventory management, entrepreneurship and skill development besides other measures beneficial for this sector in the UT.

In a presentation, Director Handicrafts, Kashmir threw light on the current challenges faced by the artisans of J&K, erstwhile popularity of these crafts, issues faced in its growth, previous initiatives taken by the government and the proposed interventions to be taken up in collaboration with the international body.

Other measures proposed were testing & certification centres, on-boarding on e-commerce platforms, showcasing before global audience, collaboration with international brands, skill development & upgradation, extending credit facilities, establishing trade centres, participation in trade fairs/exhibitions while observing Environment Social Responsibility (ESR) throughout the entire process.