Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
There is an emerging crisis in Arunachal Pradesh and the North East: growing unemployment amongst the restive youth of the region.
As per state’s annual planning document of 2011-12, Arunachal continues to remain one of the poorest states with inadequate basic infrastructure and low economic growth.
The unemployment figure for Arunachal is also the second highest in the country. As per the state’s Labour department, about 67,000 youths were registered as unemployed in 2018.
Unemployment is one of the major reasons for unwanted activities, like theft, crime, extortion, insurgency etc. Unemployment is also one of the main reasons for drugs/ alcohol addiction, etc. Many experts relate the recent anti-PRC rioting and arson to growing unemployment.
Government jobs or vacancies are gradually being saturated. Lesser and lesser jobs will be offered by the government. With increasing numbers of educated youth, job demands are also multiplying.
One of the quickest ways to provide employment is by setting up more industries in the state. New industries will result in creation of large number of jobs. In addition, other benefits will be accrued in terms of supporting infrastructure/ jobs like transportation, hotel, restaurants, banking, etc.
There are negligible industries in the state. The major negative factors against setting up of industries in the state is the lack of stabilised three-phase electric supply in the industrial estates, lack of supporting ecosystem, and lack of transportation network, etc. No industry can sustain without stabilised three-phase electric supply.
The other major problem is the lack of single window clearance for setting up industries. Presently, industry license is from a different window; trading license is from a different window; municipal/ pollution clearances are from different windows, VAT/ CST/GST registrations are from different Windows, etc.
Creation of a truly single window clearance will lead to faster establishment and operationalisation of new industries.
The second major avenue at job creation is the development of tourism in the state.
With many pristine and exotic locations, Arunachal Pradesh has the potential to be a major tourist destination. Increase in tourism will lead to increase in supporting infrastructure/ jobs like transportation, hotel, restaurants, shops etc. However, for tourism to develop, the government has to build all-weather roads and provide electricity in these exotic tourist locations.
Presently, the roads to most tourist destinations are in terrible condition.
There is a lot of work being done towards improving infrastructure in the state. However a lot more needs to be done towards establishment of more industries and improving tourism in the state.
Once industries are created, the state must support these local industries with strict implementation of preferential buying and preferential pricing. All government departments and state organisations must compulsorily procure products from local industries only.
Don’t we all want our children and relatives to be gainfully employed? Don’t we want to see our native brothers and sisters lead decent lives? Don’t we want to see a developed Arunachal Pradesh? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)