JORHAT, Dec 24 - Tea Board chairman Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah, who is a noted tea planter himself, today urged the business community in Assam to think about ways needed to be initiated to build a positive image of the profession of entrepreneurship.
Bezboruah was speaking at a function organised here by the North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) to present the awards to noted and upcoming entrepreneurs of the State.
The NESSIA is a body of traders dealing with small-scale units in the North-east. It was established in 1993 with its headquarters being based in Jorhat and a branch office in Guwahati. It has over 500 members from all over the region.
Bezboruah, who is also the chairman of the Kolkata-headquartered Tea Research Association, said there is "some kind of stigma" attached to the business community in the country with people having a perception that businessmen earn profit not through honest means. "Although the business community has such an image, many businessmen are scripting success stories by their hard work and skill," he said.
Stating that parents from non-business families are not inclined to let their children pick up entrepreneurship as a career and instead prefer government jobs, the Tea Board chairman said the business community as a whole and bodies like NESSIA should plan certain measures to be undertaken so that a positive image gets developed.
Bezboruah, while acknowledging the contributions of the small-scale sectors towards the development of the State's economy, said the introduction of GST has resulted in certain complications for the marginal traders. He, however, said the Union government will definitely take a re-look on the new GST regime's functioning and already changes have been introduced by the government.
Bezboruah, who was the first recipient of the Maniram Dewan Udyog Ratna Award instituted by NESSIA in 2014, gave away the same award posthumously to Abhijit Sharma who was a well-known tea planter, a former minister and a social worker. His wife Sapna Sharma received the award.
The Udyogjyoti Award instituted in the memory of noted businessman Anil Kumar Barooah was also given away to Ajit Kumar Bhagawati, a former Assam Agricultural University scientist and presently a poultry company owner, for his contribution in promoting the poultry sector in Assam. Several other businessmen too were given awards on the occasion.