TODAY -

Start-up Manipur as a potential launch pad
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: September 23 2019 -



As announced by the Chief Minister, the State Government is ready to roll out another programme, Stand-up Manipur.

But frankly we are not clear whether the new programme is a subsidiary component of Start-up Manipur or a complementary unit or just an extension.

We hope the finer details would come out soon.

Anyway, there is nothing bad or objectionable about Stand-up Manipur programme.

As far as what is reported in media, the programme intends to give soft loans to SC, ST, OBC and Minority entrepreneurs.

So far, so good. Who knows, Stand-up Manipur can prove to be a launch pad for a robust entrepreneurship movement in the State.

But only time will tell which shape it takes i n the end.

It was the previous Chief Minister Okram Ibobi who conceptualised the Make in Manipur initiative in the line of Prime Minister Narendra Modiís Make in India mission, with both the initiatives or missions, whichever one prefers to call, aimed at bringing rapid economic development.

Make in India was launched by the Government of India on September 25, 2014 under which 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted with the exception of space industry, defence and media.

It was almost one year later that the Modi-Government launched the Startup India campaign on August 15, 2015.

While the Make in India is basically about opening the country to foreign direct investment, Startup India focuses on promotion of entrepreneurship for job creation through technical, scientific and financial support.

The incumbent Government led by N Biren seems more interested in Startup campaign as evidenced by the Start-up Manipur project.

Even a conclave was held at the State capital on Manipur Startup on August 8, 2018 followed by another one on September 20 this year.

The two conclaves, if anything, are unmistakable signs of the State Governmentís vigorous push for Start-up Manipur.

However, if anything concrete has been achieved out of the two conclaves is anybodyís guess.

Every now and then, Chief Minister N Biren underscored the key roles of innovators and their innovative ideas for accomplishment of the mission.

No doubt, innovative ideas are crucial for such a grand initiative.

But ideas are not enough. It demands a slew of elements, the most fundamental being political will.

So far, the Government seems totally committed to push forward the mission. But there must also be modern physical infrastructure, adequate investment and capacity building.

Conducive atmosphere for investment and growth of entrepreneurship are other prerequisites.

But many of these prerequisites are conspicuously either absent or inadequate in the State as of now.

By saying this we donít intend to undermine the Chief Ministerís initiative. In fact, we are hoping for a socio-economic revolution out of the Start-up Manipur mission.

It is not yet clear if the Make in Manipur has been totally abandoned or replaced by Manipur Startup.

But the two initiatives should not be seen or treated as inter-changeable.

The two must go side by side or concurrently if there should be rapid economic development in the State.

Tourism and hospitality is one of the 25 sectors covered by Make in India initiative and Manipur would be celebrating the annual grandest Manipur Sangai Festival in November.

It is painful to note that neither the Make in India initiative nor the State Governmentís own Start-up Manipur project has been able to boost the Stateís tourism infrastructure to the desired level.

Nonetheless, we hope things will change for the better in near future.



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