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Nagaland, Wokha

Advisor Yanthan terms government’s inability even to pay salaries a shame

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By EMN Updated: Sep 27, 2023 7:39 pm
Advisor Yanthan terms government's inability even to pay salaries a shame
Mahthung Yanthan, Ajit Kumar Ranjan, and others at the inaugural programme of the two-day workshop in Wokha on Wednesday.

WOKHA — A two-day workshop on packaging for export of food and handicraft products was formally inaugurated on Wednesday at Lotha Hoho community hall in Wokha town by chief guest Mhathung Yanthan, advisor for agriculture.

Organised by the Indian Institute of Packaging in collaboration with the Wokha district Entrepreneurship Task Force, the inaugural programme was attended by about 200 entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the occasion, Yanthan described the event as befitting and expressed concern at the fact that Nagaland has over 70,000 registered unemployed. He said that if data about unregistered unemployed are taken into consideration, the number can reach one lakh.

He thus called on the attendees to have innovative ideas and businesses and obtain skills.

Mentioning that the state’s government job opportunities are saturated, he lamented that there is no revenue even to pay the salaries. He called it a shame and added that the state government is shelling out to pay the salaries of government employees using funds received from the central government for various projects.

Yanthan challenged the local entrepreneurs to be determined and focused, saying that if non-locals can survive and prosper in Nagaland, the indigenous people must venture out by setting goals and targets with will and dedication.

Yanthan, while appreciating the initiative and participation of entrepreneurs in the workshop, also asked them to acquire the best knowledge in improvising their produce so that they can hit the global markets.

He also encouraged them to take advantage of various government financial assistance programmes and schemes designed to assist unemployed youths in starting businesses and venturing into various sectors.

He said that they should not focus just on receiving subsidies but use the schemes for long-term benefits, while adding that most Nagas are shortsighted with the schemes, which he said is a major disadvantage.

Concerning Wokha’s reputation as the ‘land of plenty’, Yanthan said that Wokha has a wider scope in producing various organic agricultural products and related items and that the name ‘land of plenty’ will remain a tag until people begin to harness and capitalise on the market.

Earlier, delivering the welcome address, DC Wokha Ajit Kumar Ranjan said that the workshop is aimed at skilling the youth by focusing on packaging and added that, if required, the district might send a few individuals to Guwahati and Kolkata for a longer period to get firsthand and extensive knowledge in packaging.

While speaking about the workshop’s objectives, Taliwati Longchar, IEDS joint director and head of MSME Development and Facilitation Office (DFO), Dimapur, stated that during the two-day event, trainees will learn about various schemes as well as how to register themselves with MSME and UDYAM in order to receive various financial benefits.

Speaking at the workshop, Bidhan Das, deputy director and branch head of the Indian Institute of Packaging, Kolkata centre, stated that packaging is an important component of marketing and that without it, local producers face a significant loss.

He also mentioned that many producers are not following the FSSAI policy and are therefore below consumer standards.

Speaking on the importance of skill development and entrepreneurship, Kovi Meyase, additional secretary (L&ESDE), ex-officio director (HoD), Employment, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship, lamented that Nagaland has the fourth highest unemployment rate with 9.1%.

He urged the community to break the cycle of focusing solely on government employment and to pursue skill training and self-employment. He expressed concern about the high rate of unemployment in the state, citing factors such as a lack of vocational training and discouragement within the Naga community, as well as the lack of industries and factories in the state.

He also advised the trainees to take the two-day workshop seriously, stating that it is a way forward for their products to be sold on a global platform while reminding them that local indigenous people need to capture the market, claiming that INR 450 crores are sent out annually to other states from Nagaland’s Dimapur, Kohima, and Mokokchung districts.

K Myingthungo Kikon, general manager of District Industry Centre Wokha; William Kikon, president of the Wokha District Entrepreneurship Association; and Anuranjan Singh, Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow and in-charge of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and member secretary of the Wokha district Entrepreneurship Task Force, also delivered short speeches during the programme.

The two-day workshop is being led by Bidhan Das and Dr. Asitava Sur, faculty of the Indian Institute of Packaging, Kolkata centre.

Also read: Nagaland school board announces sign languages quiz for students

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By EMN Updated: Sep 27, 2023 7:39:55 pm
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