I was pleased to meet and interact with young and budding entrepreneurs of the State on the occasion of ‘World Entrepreneurs’ Day’ held today at Samman Bhawan.
At the outset, I urged the youth to have a positive mindset. Though we are living in the 21st century, but our thoughts and mindset are still very archaic, with majority of the people suffering from what I call the ‘third world mindset syndrome’. The youth need to break away from the conservative thinking of considering only government jobs as employment. I informed that in the developed nations, a mere 1% of the population is employed in the government sector, whereas in Sikkim, we have almost 14% of the population working as government employees. I urged the gathering to leave aside this fixed mindset and be pioneers of new age professions. They have to move ahead adopting the changing needs of time. Otherwise, a day might come when we have to face the danger of extinction. They should act as trail-blazers for our young people to opt for jobs in the service sector, where they can become their own masters rather than being’ servants’ if they are employed in the government.
In the last 24 years, our Government has created ample opportunities for our youth to avail of. However, it is disappointing to see that they have not fully utilized these opportunities. The avenues that have been created in the tourism and agriculture sectors, especially with the State becoming the first and the only fully-organic state, are numerous. These chances must be tapped by our younger generation by taking up professions related to these two sectors. Our youth must keep in mind that today agriculture and tourism are the leading sectors of employment in the world. With Sikkim becoming fully organic, our agriculture has gained more prominence. Even the UNO has called organic farming as the future agriculture of the world. If our youth take up organic farming, they have a huge market at local, national and international levels. Our young generation can also work on value addition, packaging, marketing and branding of organic goods. They can make use of the Start-up Scheme introduced by the State Government for setting up business ventures of their choice.
I informed that our Government started natural resource -based industrial revolution as early as 2005 to give emphasis to the service sector. But still, compared to the world, we are far behind. We can say today that the world is at the stage of the fourth Industrial Revolution, while Sikkim is still at the primary stage. We need to therefore, catch up with the rest of the world. The 21st century has seen a lot of advancement in all spheres. But have we really reaped the benefits of the progress made? Our people are mere consumers instead of being producers. Our people are not utilizing the benefits, opportunities and infrastructures that the modern world presents. The youth of Sikkim thus have to move forward and be a real part of the digital modern world. Only then can we become 21st century citizens in the true sense.
Our rich tradition, culture and folk history can be utilized for modern development. Based on this, we have created many man-made structures and tourist spots based on local history, culture and tradition. These destinations have become very popular among the tourists. I urged the young entrepreneurs to take a leaf out of this and set up entrepreneurial ventures related to our rich heritage. I also advised the youth to work with a never give up attitude and be strong and resolute in whatever they do. They should also never make excuses and think seriously about their future and career. Life is full of trials and tribulations but one should always remember that every problem has a solution. They should work towards being self-reliant instead of being dependent on the government.
To encourage our youngsters, I announced to waive off 75% of fees and taxes to our young entrepreneurs who wish to establish their own business ventures.