Sikkim hub opens for entrepreneurs

Pawan Chamling hands over a certificate to a young entrepreneur in Gangtok
Gangtok: A consultancy hub to provide expert help for budding entrepreneurs to implement their projects sanctioned under the Chief Minister's Start-up Scheme was inaugurated here by chief minister Pawan Chamling on Wednesday.
The scheme, which was launched on August 15 last year, envisages providing an impetus to the local unemployed youths, including school dropouts, to develop new entrepreneurial ventures and self-employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas of the state as start-ups both in the manufacturing and service sectors.
It aims to finance between 25 per cent and 35 per cent of the project cost for financially viable ventures not exceeding Rs 20 lakh. The remaining portion of the cost will have to be arranged from the banks by way of loans.
Urging the youth to make use of the scheme, Chamling said they should not shy away from taking loans from the banks to realise their dreams.
"You must take advantage of the opportunity. We must develop a sense of ownership and responsibility...We all must be job providers and not job seekers," he said, while asserting that the government's contribution was neither a grant nor a subsidy, but financial assistance provided to them.

The government aid of the approved project cost under the scheme is non-refundable, but the loan taken from the banks will have to be repaid.
The role of the consultancy hub is to help the youth implement their project by providing them with guidance and expert advice.
The members of the hub are successful entrepreneurs from diverse business background and from different parts of the state.
"Once a project is approved, they can come to us and we will help them implement their projects. Our mission is to promote entrepreneurship in the state," said Rewaj Chhetri, an entrepreneur and member of the hub.
Talking to The Telegraph on the sidelines of the inaugural event, Arvind Kumar, the principal secretary of the Sikkim department of commerce and industries, said the scheme was the brainchild of the chief minister and it germinated from the fact that the government jobs had reached a saturation point.
"Thirteen per cent of the total population of Sikkim are engaged in various government jobs. The national average is only 3 per cent... The chief minister's vision is to encourage youth not to look for government jobs or even private jobs, but to be owners of their businesses," he said.
To begin with, he said, Rs 79 crore had been sanctioned for the scheme. The money is non-lapsable, meaning it will be carried forward to the next fiscal.

The Telegraph

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