Nurture youth and their entrepreneurial spirit

Monday Musing

[ Ranjit Sinha ]

In the last two decades Arunachal witnessed several ministers wooing investors from other parts of the country and abroad to invest in this Himalayan state with an industrial policy in hand, only to embrace despair.
There is no gainsaying that the preparation and approval of the Arunachal Pradesh State Industrial and Investment Policy, 2019, indicates ineptitude on the part of the policymakers in preparing the industrial policies of 2001 and 2008, as we could not see any visible development in the industrial sector in the state during the last decade.
Peeping into the new industrial policy, BJP govt in the state seem keen to engage the young population in creating a self-dependent state.
Probably the people in power in the state have realized that with the increasing population of the youth, who are estimated to comprise more than 50 percent of the total population of the country by 2024, the time has come for Arunachal to channel and utilize the youth’s power and potential to transform the state from being ‘resource-crunched’ to being a resourceful, frontrunner state.
Unlike the previous industrial policies, the policy of 2019 gives more space for the local youths to become entrepreneurs and self-employed. The new industrial policy aims to promote ‘Make in Arunachal’ with various incentives, including capital investment subsidy for all new industrial units.
It says that the state government will provide various kinds of subsidies, like state interest subsidy on term loan from bank on plant and machinery, working capital loan, power subsidy, transport subsidy (in addition to market support), and promotion of finished products.
It is expected that the first ever two-day Arunachal Pradesh Social Entrepreneurship Meet, which concluded on 31 January, will not remain a ‘historical event’ but will become a stepping stone in the implementation of the new industrial policy in the right direction.
The much-hyped meet has hopefully motivated and encouraged the political leaders in power and the young brigade to work hand-in-hand to contribute towards shaping the future of Arunachal.
We expect that the state government will walk the talk and go the extra mile in enabling an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurship and investment while taking proper care of nature and the social fabric of the state.
Now we are eager to have the proposed mega food park in Papum Pare district as a new year gift under the new industrial policy.
The upcoming food park under the scheme of the union food processing industries ministry will include two primary processing centres – one in Bhalukpong (West Kameng district) and the other in Yachuli (Lower Subansiri).
A mega food park typically consists of a supply chain infrastructure, including collection centres, primary processing centres, central processing centres, cold chain, and around 25-30 fully developed plots for entrepreneurs to set up food processing units.
Since the state government has already received 12 letters of interest, including nine from local entrepreneurs, to invest in the mega food park near Dolikota village in Banderdewa circle of Papum Pare district, we expect that the (estimated) Rs 159-crore worth food park project in an area of 75 acres of land becomes a reality soon without any hindrance.