Raining jobs in Wangoi !
New Babu Zindabad, Zindabad. Announcement as per the desire of the public is the sign of a popular leader. A few years back the talk of the town in Thoubal was "there are no unemployeds left here". Again it was murmured in the media some 32 years back that "Sagolband is as bright as Bombay" because of the extensive illumination of street lamps. Once upon a time it was also said that the road to Ukhrul is as smooth as that of Singapore. Moral of the story is, doing something special for the Constituency is acceptable though envied and trivialised by others.
The total population of the State of Manipur is about 3.5 million. And the number of educated unemployed people hovers around 8 lakh. If we talk about unemployment as such the figure will be much higher; it may even cross 25 lakh including the seasonal unemployment.
When a leader promises that he will provide ample jobs to his supporters, certainly he will be applauded. There is nothing wrong to give such tall promises. His supporters were happily listening to his victory speech (immediately after becoming a Minister). People of his Constituency are not fools and they know that the young leader can't give employment to all but they love the spirit of the leader.
Within a few days of his announcement the Cabinet has put a ban on Govt recruitments and even engagement on contract or on ad-hoc basis considering the precarious financial condition of the State. Moreover the by-election notification has also come thereby restraining the Government to take policy decisions which may influence the voting pattern; even posting, transfer, appointment etc., must be kept at abeyance till the elections are over. Few more Constituencies may be added in the by-elections if the Court gives a green signal.
Everyone knows that it is not possible for the Government to provide jobs to each and every individual. However they can certainly create an environment or situations for more economic activities and better job opportunities; in order to encourage entrepreneurship and self employment many measures may be taken up.
Though I am not an economist or a business expert however let me take the liberty to suggest something for the economic good of the State and its people.
Further expansion of the Indo-Myanmar Border trade at Moreh will certainly augment economic activities. Many will do business and many more will get jobs. Act East policy must be pursued rigorously and our commercial links with the ASEAN will prove to be a boon for our future. Others are trying to hijack this golden opportunity. Let's be vigilant and work in tandem.
Revival of our innumerable water bodies particularly the 'pats' ( small lakes ) will provide ample opportunities for fishing and fisheries. Govt.of India is going to spend thousands of crores to increase in-land fish production in the country. We must take advantage of it. Not only that, reviving our water bodies particularly at the foothills will be a source of fresh water in and around the area. Fowl farming may go along side by side with pisciculture. Today we have sophisticated machinery to dig and redig our dried 'pats'. ( Local people may pay attention to this redevelopment of 'pats').
Encouraging organic farming throughout the State will not only hike the earnings of the farmers but it will also make people healthy. Organic products always get a higher price anywhere in the world. I believe the Sikkim model is workable; there is nothing wrong to emulate good things from others.
Horticulture is again a very prospective and viable option. An area may specialize in a particular fruit or vegetable production . For instance Tamenglong may grow oranges (naturally suitable too), Mao may concentrate on peach and allu. Moirang may specialize in fish production. Thoubal on pineapple, Bishenpur on bamboo shoots, and so on and so forth.
Most of our hill areas may concentrate on poultry and piggery. And of course apiculture is another excellent business proposition. NEC - DONER are giving incentives to the poultry and piggery activities. Hill people must take advantage of this.
Government sponsored lottery businesses not only generate revenue but also create a good number of employment. Let's think of reviving and reinventing it. I am serious. Lottery ticket sellers in every nook and corner of our towns and bazars will enthuse other business activities.
Just after the Pandemic, Chandel and Churachandpur may be developed as IT hubs (AI centres). The hardware and software from the ASEAN countries may be properly tapped here. What we require is some dedicated engineers and techno-savvy people to work here. Govt and Private players both may invest in this venture. When the trade and travel intensifies between us and ASEAN countries this business will boom.
Immediately after the expansion and upgradation (after finishing the Rs 720 crore) Bir Tikendrajit International Airport must start operating International flights at least to Naypyidaw, Bangkok, Dhaka, Thimphu, Seoul etc. This will certainly expand our economic frontiers.
Last but not the least, let me come to my pet project; by lifting the prohibition we may allow manufacturing, packaging, storing, transporting, selling, exporting of our local brew 'Yu' and trust me this can change the entire economic landscape of the State. Believe me nobody blames 'Feni' when a Goan drunkard dies and no Russian would ever blame 'Vodka' for the deaths of their alcoholics.
But the economics of 'Feni' or 'Vodka' is marvellous. I have full confidence that our 'Yu' can achieve wonders in the National & global market. Let's try it gentlemen and this will also generate huge revenue and employment.
Just after the declaration from the Babu, I received a WhatApp message highlighting a job interview . During the job interview the Chairman asked the candidate "where are you from ?" The candidate replied " from “Wangoi,” The Chairman said, "please join tomorrow". New Babu Zindabad Zindabad.