SHILLONG, April 27 - Shortage of manpower in banks across the North East region is slowing down the process of social empowerment of the indigenous people of the region, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said today.
�In many rural areas of the North East including Meghalaya, the absence of manpower in the banks poses a real hindrance to the people. I would like to urge the SBI officials to ensure that adequate manpower is accorded to rural branches of the banks that would cater to the needs of our people,� Conrad said while addressing the 16th annual general conference of the SBI SC and ST Employees� Association (SEWA) at the NEHU auditorium here.
Assuring to work for the welfare of SC and ST employees at different platforms, the Chief Minister told the SBI officials to ensure that the indigenous people of the region are given priority when they apply for loans to start entrepreneurial ventures.
�If any deserving indigenous people of the region approach banks to set up their own ventures, banks should help, assist and guide them. Banks should be in a position to take calculative risk to help our young boys and girls so that they are able to pursue their passion to start entrepreneurial activities in the region,� he added.
Sangma told the gathering that the Meghalaya Government has started a number of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in the State and is also likely to start an incubation centre to promote music and art.
�Our boys and girls are talented in the field of music, so it is our responsibility to ensure that they are able to earn a living out of it. We want to promote artists interested in music by giving them an opportunity and a platform,� the Chief Minister added.
Informing the gathering that a number of youths in Meghalaya have talent in the field of photography, Sangma rued that they were engaging in it merely as a passion due to absence of guidance and a platform. He said: �We want to ensure that such groups of people find a space to use their talent to earn a living for themselves.�
Urging the bank officials to have a purpose-driven mindset, the Chief Minister said: �It should be an incumbent responsibility on all of us to have the attitude to walk an extra mile so that we are able to achieve the desired goal.�
During the programme, Conrad also paid floral tribute to Dr BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution and the champion of the SC/ST communities.