Shillong, Nov 5 : The 8th Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS-VIII), which concluded here in Meghalaya on Tuesday has called for action on a few identified issues critical to the building of an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the Indian Himalayan region.
Summing up the outcomes of the summit deliberations, Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) Councillor, P.D Rai, zeroed in few action points that demand immediate action -chief of them being the creation of tax and financial literacy among the local entrepreneurs, and the institution of a climate risk fund to shore up entrepreneurship in the mountain region.
Recognizing that the tangle of red-tape still cripples the entrepreneurial ventures, the summit urged the lawmakers representing the mountain states and uplands of the
Indian Himalayan region to urgently take up these recommendations at the appropriate policy platform.
Rai said the key recommendations would be further deliberated up at the meeting of the lawmakers’ forum, which had been scheduled for Wednesday here in Shillong. “Lawmakers need to mull over these recommendations and take action,'' he opined.
The summit came up with a concrete decision to set up immediately a start-up incubation centre in partnership with IMI, Villgro and IIM, Shillong. He also suggested that many of the government schemes should be better targeted. One of the other most important issues emerged through the two-day marathon discussions was the recognition of the need for a Himalayan brand for products of the mountain region.
North Eastern Council Secretary, Moses Chalai, while applauding the organisers of the summit, highlighted the importance of compelling and collective voices from the region for advancing the specific developmental needs.
The summit also paid rich tribute to late founder president of IMI, Dr R.S Tolia, who played a pioneering role in setting up the IMI. An award instituted in his honour was awarded to Satyanarayan Bharti for his life-long works on community forestry and water conservation in Uttarakhand.
The two days of discussions threw up many ideas for follow-up, but almost all emphasized on the need for an entrepreneurial ecosystem by convergence of government, civil society, industry and financial institutions. It was also underlined that there was urgent need to revitalize all government extension services.
A panel discussion followed the presentations during the thematic sessions –sustainable agri-business and sustainable Tourism. One of the key points flagged was that entrepreneurship and business can grow only in an atmosphere of openness, and congenial environment that encourages investment and free flow of technology from outside.
The baton for the next Sustainable Mountain Development Summit 2020 was handed over to STS Lepcha of SDFU – the IMI State Chapter in Uttarakhand. (UNI)