GUWAHATI, May 19 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today visited the Indian Institute Entrepreneurship (IIE) in the city and took stock of its activities while urging the institute to map the industry requirement so that need-based skills to youths of the State can be provided for their absorption in the workforce.
He also stressed the need for IIE, Agriculture, Industry and other line departments to work cohesively to achieve the goal of �Atma Nirbhar Assam� (self-reliant Assam) through economic empowerment.
In the prevailing situation of economic slowdown, the Chief Minister urged IIE officials to make the institute more visible at the grassroots and inspire the youths of the State to take up entrepreneurship for creating job opportunities and contributing to the economic development of Assam.
Sonowal said that there is more than Rs 2,000 crore with the 2,200 gaon panchayats (GPs) of the State, which they received under the 14th Finance Commission.
The Chief Minister also called on the IIE to devise strategies for proper utilisation of the fund as the GPs do not possess technical wherewithal for the same. The institute can help in identifying the sectors where funds can be judiciously utilised and better employment opportunities can be generated within the rural economy, he said.
Saying that only imparting skill training was not enough as market linkage must also be provided for the youths engaged in agriculture sector, Sonowal asserted that there was no survey conducted of market requirement in the State, and therefore, products produced by local farmers and entrepreneurs find it difficult to capture the market. He urged IIE to pitch in for identifying inherent strengths of the State in sectors such as fishery, horticulture, livestock, etc, so that a proper market chain can be developed for the entrepreneurs and farmers.
The Chief Minister also said that IIE must play a pivotal role in identifying capacity of the youths of Assam returning from outside in the post COVID-19 scenario to equip them with required skills for contributing to the economic growth of the State. If 5,000 youths are provided placement or given self-employment opportunities in the first phase, other people would be encouraged to come forward for skill training, he said. Underlining the importance of willingness on the part of the returnees to take up skill training, Sonowal urged IIE to win the people�s faith with visible results.
Citing the example of countries like Vietnam where value addition to their products have helped in growth of exports, Sonowal urged IIE to come up with ways to help the State�s agri-entrepreneurs by adding more value to their produce so that markets within the country and abroad can be captured.
Director of IIE Abhijit Sharma gave a brief presentation to the Chief Minister on the different activities of the institute in the presence of other officials. MLA Rituparna Barua, and Commissioner and Secretary of Industries and Commerce KK Dwivedi were also present in the meeting.