Conrad Sangma | File photo

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on October 17 said over 70,000 youth enter the workforce every year and it was imperative for the government to design policy that would enable them to be absorbed in the “job market”.

“The demand for jobs is huge and it is not possible for the government to readily absorb everyone. Close to 1500 people are employed in the government sector through Meghalaya Public Service Commission (MPSC) and district selection committees (DSCs),” Sangma said, highlighting the importance of creating an ecosystem of entrepreneurship culture that would push and drive the economy.

Launching the flagship programme – ‘CM Elevate’ at Jowai in the presence of MLAs Wailadmiki Shylla and Santa Mary Shylla, the chief minister said that the government has envisaged the programme to encourage and leverage entrepreneurial activities by supporting 20,000 beneficiaries with an amount of Rs 300 crore in the next five years.

Under CM Elevate, interested entrepreneurs can apply for different ventures that would promote tourism, agriculture, entertainment and other social sectors. Under the scheme, the state government would provide grants and subsidies of up to 75 per cent and the rest will be linked through bank loans.

“We have come up with a policy to promote entrepreneurship to tackle the issue of unemployment. Our policy intervention today will have a significant impact in resolving the issue of job creation in the next 10-15 years,” he said, while emphasising that programmes like PRIME and CM Elevate will handhold, train and empower the youth to be engaged in productive activities.

“Unless and until policies are created today, we will have massive problems in the future. So, it was incumbent on us to come up with an intervention that will ensure that the problems are resolved in future,” he added.

He also informed that over 33 lakh people in the state, out of 39 lakh are below the age of 45 years, and the issue of job creation will only increase and will pose a challenge for the state. “Today roughly 70,000 people enter the workforce, which will increase to over 1 lakh in the next few years,” he underscored, while stating that the government has conceptualised CM Elevate to address the issue of unemployment and create an enabling environment for job creation.

He informed that in the next five years through CM Elevate, the government has set a target to create over 50,000 plus jobs in the state in the entrepreneurship sector.

Terming that the state’s young population is the strength, he further said that programmes like YESS Meghalaya give the opportunity for the youth to be engaged in productive activities that ensure that their positive energy is channelized into constructive and meaningful engagements.

YESS Meghalaya, a brainchild of chief minister Conrad Sangma, launched in 2022 supports youth organisations, societies and NGOs to seek financial assistance up to Rs 1 lakh for awareness, educational and other engaging activities.

“In last year, 1155 youth organisations have been supported by the government and we will continue to support our youth through this programme,” he informed.

In today’s programme, a total of 37 cheques were distributed, under Yess Meghalaya, Green Meghalaya and SHG movement to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore.

Speaking on the occasion, MLA Santa Mary Shylla urged the youth to take advantage of the CM Elevate programme. “The initiative is a step closer to reaching its goal of becoming a 10-billion-dollar economy”.

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