SHILLONG | Feb 26, 2019:
The recent imbroglio over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, an issue which united the Northeast leading to the subsequent lapse of the bill in the Rajya Sabha has prompted social organisations to pressurise the respective governments to have a mechanism in place to tackle influx.
In Meghalaya, the demand for Inner Line Permit (ILP) grew louder in the wake of the Citizenship Amendment Bill imbroglio.
In light of the above, former Home Minister, Robert Garnet Lyngdoh observed that influx and unemployment problem in Meghalaya are inter-connected.
“The irony is that the two issues stands ‘side by side’,” Lyngdoh said while speaking at a workshop organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here today.
Stating that the major factor which led to the influx problem in the State is because people from outside see employment opportunities in the State, former Home Minister said that unemployment is a result of the inability of the local people to identify the employment opportunities that are already there.
The former MLA also observed that connectivity remains a major problem and till now the State does not have a proper airport. “The connectivity problem has also discouraged major investment in the State,” he said. He also observed that the poor internet connectivity, frequent power cuts and poor roads have all discouraged investment.
Meanwhile, the former Minister said that he had made efforts to bring IT companies to invest in the State during his stint as the IT Minister adding that the State has a talented human resource pool, but even then poor infrastructure discouraged these companies to come to the State.
“There wasn’t an airport at that point of time and still after two decades we don’t have a proper airport,” the former Home Minister said. According to the former Home Minister, the Tourism sector is however one of the promising areas, which the State must explore. He said that community-driven projects in the tourism sector should be explored.
“We shouldn’t be looking for big corporate houses in the tourism sector but focus on community-driven projects so that wealth is evenly distributed,” he added.
Lamenting that projects of the Centre to give loans to youths to start their ventures is yet to pick up in the State as banks are reluctant to give loans, Lyngdoh said, micro financing institutions should be set up.
“We need to find micro-financing organizations for the tourism sector as the banks are reluctant to give loans and also try to build capacities of the youth,” Lyngdoh said.