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Editorial

New enterprises for Naga youths

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By EMN Updated: Sep 01, 2013 11:54 pm
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[dropcap]N[/dropcap]agas have a habit of starting any enterprise with a bang more often than not these ventures end in a whimper. The State Government has umpteen times set forth a number of commercial industries like the sugar mill at 6th mile, Dimapur, the Tuli paper mill, Tizit plywood factory, the food/ processing plant at Longnak to name a few. Plus numerous more ventures. So what has happened?The sugar mill which also manufactured Black Bull rum had to close down because of the promulgation of the Liquor Prohibition Act. The Tuli paper mill ran into losses for years for lack of power until the Hindustan Paper Corporation tried to revive it to some extent.
Tizit plywood factory became dysfunctional in 1979-80 when the Chief Minister late J.B. Jasokie discovered that it was owned by non-Nagas and for which he sent the NAP to ensure its return of ownership.
The Nagaland State Co-operative Bank (NSCB) started giving out loans for entrepreneurs who wanted to run taxis. Most of the loanees repaid in installments but the number of defaulters was overburdening the operations of NSCB which had initiated other enterprises all for the interest of a potentially thriving economy.
Unfortunately, the NSCB officials even had to go to the extent of pleading with the defaulters to begin repayment in whatever amounts possible so that the bank would be able to get on an even keel eventually. Apparently, it is now limping back to some semblance of balance. Other banks have also ventured into the enterprising sector but with much more rigorous conditions and such seem to be doing reasonably fine.
The Govt. of Nagaland initiated the Chief Minister’s Corpus Fund with an outlay of Rs two crore during the previous Congress rule. The NPF-led DAN increased the outlay to Rs four crore thus signifying that unemployed youth took to it with verve and vigour. And yet, unemployment rate is still high in Nagaland. One point of encouragement is that a number of Naga youth are undergoing training in Israel and South Korea vis-a-vis commercial enterprises under the aegis of the State govt.
How to involve the increasing number of our unemployed youth in business ventures? They have to be motivated into concentrating on their enterprises for a reasonable profit at the very least. In this context, some valid lessons could be learnt the commercial—and political—success of Singapore.
Formerly a part of the Federation of Malaysia, Singapore gained formal independence on August 3 1965. Yet today, despite insurmountable hurdles it is now a commercial and political success. Its secret lay in integrity and absence of corruption and nepotism of its leaders.
As the first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew introduced harsh measures which initially appeared rather harsh. It entailed aspects that go with a civilized and industrialized society.
The police force for instance in Singapore is amongst the most disciplined in the world. A police man is also amongst the best paid and most respected government job. Law and order is the basis of a conducive work environment. The long arms of the law are everywhere.
Not surprisingly a banner above the entrance to the old Assembly very observantly states “the difference between Nagaland and Singapore is the civic sense”. Maybe that is where we need to begin, to start clearing up the mess in a creative and sustainable way.

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By EMN Updated: Sep 01, 2013 11:54:48 pm