EDITORIAL

It’s not so easy!

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There is a provision of certain sops, like the provision of land for setting up industrial units, for those wanting to start such business ventures. Few sops there also for those wanting to venture into the tourism business. Now this sounds very attractive. However, what is really unfortunate is that these sops and facilities often fall into the kitty of a selected few while the real intended beneficiaries of such schemes hardly ever get anything out of them. And still more unfortunate is that the political establishment while making political assertions about these incentives deliberately chooses to undermine the hassles involved for the jobless youth, desirous of starting their own ventures, in getting benefits of various schemes and sops.

Ugly reality is that for the jobless people even thinking of self-entrepreneurial ventures is fraught with so many dangers – of being endlessly tossed from one agency and department to the other to get the necessary paperwork done. Over a dozen odd agencies that are involved in such ventures — from the various wings of Industries department to state’s financial institutions and private banks to the Pollution Control Board, civic bodies, power (electricity) and water works -– remain disarrayed and disjointed lot. It’s truly Herculean to get through all these wings with necessary clearances. It’s not that nobody gets through, but for a beginner, just out of the university or a college, who is not aware of how the short-cuts are created and greased through corruption, the task is truly daunting.

Those who know how to milk the system dry for subsidies and other incentives know how to go about it – share the spoils with those in the system. But for a fresher who really wants to create something through sheer sincerity and hardwork, the path is laden with all kinds of hurdles. While some of the hurdles are indeed necessary and can’t be done away with, most of these are needlessly created by the officialdom for their own vested interest; the biggest being lack of work-culture and spirit of helping those who are in need of it. What could be a bigger tragedy than the fact that people in various government departments despite drawing their salaries to help common people, instead of doing so take pleasure in ragging and discouraging the prospective entrepreneurs! It happens in SIDCO, in DICs, at PCB, in PDD and PHE offices; even banks too harass them. In such a situation asking people to come forward and avail “benefits” of various schemes is akin to inviting them to come and face insults. And by the way, where are the schemes? Have the concerned agencies ever bothered to publicize them for the general awareness of the common people? Whatever people know thus far about these so-called “benefits” (!) is through the speeches of the political establishments as and when these make to media through Information department press-releases.

A comprehensive development plan to manage and tackle the unemployment problem through both government and private sector interventions is the key here. It is not that the government doesn’t have such a plan, but the problem is that people are not aware of any such thing. Concerned agencies are deliberately not presenting the government plans to the general public, particularly the unemployed youth, in the way and manner they are supposed to. And this is deliberate, because they give such details to, and facilitate only a selective coterie of people who are either their kin or are somehow known to them. Another category able to avail benefits comprises those who know how to maneuver and grease their way through the otherwise hassled and bureaucratized alleys. Even as one could credit the government for having come up with some very good policies, also for sincerity of intentions, but the honesty of intent and sincerity of purpose means nothing unless and until it is followed up in the same spirit by the officers who are there between the benefits of a policy and its intended beneficiaries. Unfortunately, the situation is not as easy on the ground as it appears in paper or in a political speech!

 

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