Infrastructure deficiencies


Unemployment is one of the grave problems we are facing. The short-cuts that we have over the years used to deal with this did not work obviously for the reason that this problem could not intrinsically be dealt with short-cuts. It needs vibrant policy intervention. Indeed there is an urgent need to have a new policy vis-à-vis the current scenario and not the one formulated decades ago. But before working on such a policy, we need to have a comprehensive review of all those measures adopted over the years in this regard. We need to find out why such measures failed. One of the fundamental flaws with Government policy interventions has been that they have not been able to do away with the Government-job-dependency-syndrome in the State. Instead, many Government policies have proved harmful than helpful in this regard. Although we have an industrial policy in place offering ample incentives for establishing manufacturing units, we have not been able to provide our entrepreneurs the supporting atmosphere like in terms of better roads, electricity, etc. Modern day industries thrive on road and communication connectivity that we are lacking in both. Our general trade and commerce too has suffered for want of better infrastructure. The decrepit inter-district road connectivity is one of the major reasons stifling the growth of home grown industries in the rural belt. Governments across the world create enabling atmosphere for businesses to grow, industries to thrive, service to boom, but our story is different. We don’t create enabling atmosphere for across-the-board growth in different sectors; we instead enable youth to become more and more dependent on Government service. The World Bank recently ranked Nagaland among the ‘worst states’ for business. In its report ‘All India Assessment of Business Reforms 2015-16’, Nagaland was ranked at 27th place among the states and union territories in India. This amply demonstrates the failure of successive governments in the State to bring about necessary reforms for the promotion and growth of business and investment in the State. While the political uncertainty that has dogged the State over the years is surely one of the reasons for stifling the growth of its business and industry, the role of the successive State governments in this regard has not been encouraging either. That this State has so far failed to evolve and adopt a well-devised investment policy having potential to attract large scale investments into the State is a shame. Although, some may argue that our investment policy offers ample incentives to the investors, yet the point that needs to be pondered upon is as to why it has failed to bring in investments into the State. At a time when other states in India have attracted massive investments, why is it that our State is starving? While the World Bank assessment is a serious indictment of the successive State governments, it nonetheless offers an opportunity for the present PDA Government in the State to gear up and focus on new ways and policies to attract investments. We can recall that the present chief minister Neiphiu Rio when he was the chief minister earlier had made certain efforts by visiting some reputed business houses in the country inviting them to come to the State. Now that he is at the helm again, he needs to continue such efforts while simultaneously working to improve our investment policy. We need to improve upon the infrastructure deficiencies so as the investment in the State becomes easier. Also, the State needs to encourage the local investors to make investments in the State. In the backwatered economies, jobs remain obscured in certain sectors, while people try to find them elsewhere. That is our story. Let the Government help people find those jobs. The job is difficult, but not impossible.