Shillong, Feb 20: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has said that a corpus fund of Rs 125 crore will be constituted over the next two years to aid the entrepreneurs in the state.
The chief minister said this while addressing the PRIME Entrepreneurship Awards held at the Convention Centre here on Friday.
"A corpus fund of Rs 125 crore will be constituted over the next 2 years as PRIME Fund to aid the efforts of the entrepreneurs of Meghalaya," he said.
"It feels great to see the sector that was left neglected for a long time being given the attention it requires to prosper," the chief minister said, adding that he was happy to witness artisans and entrepreneurs getting the opportunities and the much-needed handholding through the Ateliers Programme and the PRIME Meghalaya initiative.
He said "It is important to package, market the story and present the products of our entrepreneurs and artisans, so we can create value out of their products".
Expressing optimism that through the initiatives of the government the entrepreneurship culture can spread to all different sectors, he said the talented and enterprising people of Meghalaya will be encouraged thoroughly.
He expressed gratefulness to banks for their support and urged them to continue their support to the entrepreneurs of the state.
The chief minister also announced that the state government will introduce the 'Chief Minister's Music Award' on a monthly basis to award musicians of the state.
Meghalaya Basin Management Agency CEO Dr D Vijay Kumar said that the Meghalaya Government through 'PRIME Meghalaya' wants to make entrepreneurship a preferred career choice for young people through the creation of an ecosystem that enables easy availability of credit, technology, skilling, and mentoring support, and access to markets.
"Our mission is to provide systematic and targeted approach through a network of prime hubs that will be a one- stop-shop for the different segments of entrepreneurship in the state", he said, adding that the programme is also reaching out to entrepreneurs in rural areas.
It is important to preserve the unique crafts and traditions of Meghalaya, Kumar said, adding that a tourism store will be set up in Delhi to brand the state.
To give access to credit, the PRIME Fund will provide a kick-start grant of Rs 5 lakh, scale-up innovation loans of up to 25 lakh.
The IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) is providing incubation support to entrepreneurs including capacity building and training programmes, co-working spaces, funding, and market access and visibility.
IIMCIP CEO Dr Subhrangshu Sanyal praised the commitment of the chief minister.
"CM has set the vision to create the culture of job takers and not job seekers," he said, adding that his institute is happy to witness the passion of the entrepreneurs of the state that even the pandemic could not stop them to continue their work.
"They used their skill sets to develop products such as masks, sanitizers, curtains for hospitals needed during the pandemic", Sanyal said. - PTI