TRIPURAINFO

Centre is playing its Role, Now upto the State and it's People for Effective Implementation?

Shri Jayanta Debnath & Shri Pinaki Ranjan Dey

May 14, 2020, 10:02:51   

On 1st May, Tripurainfo.com has published an article authored jointly by the senior Editor and MD of tripurainfo.com Jayanta Debnath and reputed consultant Pinaki Ranjan Dey, originally a native of Tripura and MBA from Germany on the post-COVID economic revival appear to have impressed the union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The article, currently available for viewing in the tripurainfo.com website under the title of '5 point suggestions for post-COVID 100 days action', had been forwarded to prime minister Narendra Modi and union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Now it seems the contents of the article were taken serious note of by the prime minister as well as the union finance minister. (https://tripurainfo.com/TripuraArticle/5-Point-Suggestions-for-Post-COVID-100-Days-Action-Plan-in-Tripura-215.html). with a sincere effort to provide few constructive suggestions to the State Government which is gearing up to develop a road map in for the immediate future post COVID lockdown. The suggestions in the article were based on informed research, taking into consideration both micro and macro economic aspects of the State, as well as aspirations of the people, industry and the MSME sectors of the State.

More than anything else, the authors were overwhelmed by a deep sense of responsibility to suggest action points which could be considered by the State Government and its team of efficient and dedicated senior bureaucrats. It is a matter of gratitude and pleasure that the article was taken in the right note and seen as a constructive one by many.

To begin with, importance was given to undertake 'Make in Tripura' as a movement. In the speech of Prime Minister on 12th May at 8 PM, we heard him stating the importance of "Local to Vocal to Global", or in other words, self dependence and encouraging Made in India products. The article written by the authors on 1st May also mentioned the importance of ushering in a new era of self reliance in the State of Tripura through Make in Tripura products ("Promote Made in Tripura and Promote the SMEs"). The article talked about "A list of all those household items used by the common people of Tripura in their day to day life should be listed out. Simple household items like various food items,  broom, agarbattis, soaps, detergents, gamcha, simple household plastic items and host of other items can be listed out which can be quickly manufactured by the SMEs already functioning". This is exactly what the Prime Minister wanted to emphasise when he said "From Local to Vocal to Global". Time now for Tripura too to think 'local', make its MSME 'vocal' and when it starts meeting its own domestic needs of the State, go 'Global' start promoting Made in Tripura products outside the State, across the Nation and also in different Countries.

Some of the other important announcements made in the press conference of Smt. Sitaraman on May 13 2020   evening which was also provided as suggestions in the previous article are:-

1. Collateral free loans through automatic routes for a duration of 4 years with one year moratorium period

2. Subordinated debt for stressed MSMEs

3. Special fund for helping MSMEs which are currently solvent but need additional equity for further expansion

4. Definition of MSMEs has been revised with increase in the investment limit for mirco, small and medium, all categories of MSMEs as well as increasing the permissible turnover for these enterprises to be still considered to be eligible for MSME benefits

5. Distinction between manufacturing and services MSMEs now removed. All MSMEs whether in service or manufacturing will be treated alike. This may give a big advantage to many service centric small organizations in Tripura and other NE states

6. For government procurement up to Rs 200 crores, it need not be through global tenders;

7. All pending receivables due to MSMEs from the government will be released in the next 45 days

8. EPF payment for the employer's part will continue to be paid by government for additional three months (June-August)

9. Also, contribution to EPF has been decreased to 10% so that employees can have more take home salaries than before during this period of crisis

 

Many of this above intervention already found a mention in the previous article published on 1st May in the Tripurainfo News portal.

(https://tripurainfo.com/TripuraArticle/5-Point-Suggestions-for-Post-COVID-100-Days-Action-Plan-in-Tripura-215.html)

Many now feel that while the Central Government has taken decisive steps, ball is now in the court of the Tripura Government for the effective implementation of the policies. At the same time, the ball is also in the court of the people of the State to work hard, think entrepreneurially, cooperate more with each other, think 'local' and make the dream of Chief Minister Shri Biplab Kumar Deb of "Ek Tripura, Shreshtha Tripura" a reality.

Few further and focussed suggestions in this regard are as follows:

1.      A team of top Bureaucrats and few Ministers under the direct watch of the CMO should immediately develop a list of items that can be locally manufactured in Tripura through its existing MSMEs and opening of new ones. Data available with the State Directorate of Economics & Statistics, reports like Household Consumption of Various goods and Services in India by the NSSO allied can be referred for effective data analysis. Professional analysts, few knowledgeable entrepreneurs in the State of Tripura, couple of good economists of the State can be roped in to assist the Government team in this task of listing out which of the products can Tripura produce in the coming months and which it needs to source from outside States. Also emphasis should to utilize the additional grant to be received from the Centre more in terms of the 'employable population of the State' than trying to make everyone happy. A quick study should be made on finding out the approximate number of employable population of the State and all efforts should be focussed on that aspect.

2.      The food processing sector of the State can be revamped. Simple everyday items of consumption that currently comes from outside the State like jam, jelly, pickles etc. can be identified and produced in the State in significantly more quantities. Idea is how much of these products can be produced internally and sold within the State first than thinking of how much can be sold outside the State where there is more completion and stronger local brands

3.      Dairy Sector should be made trendy and attractive to the youths of the State like it is in States like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc. In the same manner, youths should be encouraged to take up fisheries. It's high time the youths should realise the high opportunity cost of waiting for a "Job" or keep fighting legal battles for a "lost teaching job"

4.      Agri / horti department should be given time bound and target based task to increase the production of high value vegetables, pulses and oilseeds along with development of 'seed villages' in the State for field crops like paddy

5.      ICAR Lembucherra in the past conducted extensive research and field trials for large scale cultivation of onions in the State. Efforts should be made to increase the production of onion in Tripura and if that achieves success, much of the State's dependence to source onion from far off States can be reduced and also can be made available at cheaper rates to the people of the State

6.      Tripura is already successful in growing tomato and potato. If onion can also be grown successfully in the State, then the Government can give TOP (tomato, onion and potato) priority to the vegetable sector in the State and depend less on supply from outside

7.      Some of the professionally managed SHGs, FPOs, government research stations can undertake protected cultivation of high value vegetables

8.      Target based and quantifiable reduction in post harvest losses in vegetables through proper post harvest management practices, logistics support (including cool chain logistics) and food processing should be given a focus with the additional funds received from the Centre which is to be earmarked for the agri sector in the State. Even few percentage of reduction in post harvest losses can lead to savings of crores of worth of vegetables, adding to self sufficiency and food security of the State

9.       People of Tripura are inherently hardworking, innovative and entrepreneurial in nature which is manifested by many currently being settled and established outside the State in different parts of the Country and abroad. Somehow in the past decades, people of Tripura became too much oriented towards getting a 'Government Job' and forgotten their inner strength and resilience. In the post COVID era, "Entrepreneurial Tripura" can be the Mantra. Youth should be encouraged to set up their own MSMEs. All the educational institutions, from  Secondary level schools,  ITI to NIIT to College of Agriculture should have compulsory subject on Entrepreneurship Development, and if needed guest faculties and practicing entrepreneurs should be roped in to educate the youth in various schemes, government support, viable business options and allied than keeping on producing directionless educated youth whose only aim of earning a degree is to get a 'Government Job', these days are actually more demanding and uncertain than the life of an entrepreneur

 10.  Last but not the least, departments like industries and TIDC should now start thinking beyond providing auto-rickshaw and toto-rickshaw loans as their role in developing business in the State. TIDC and MSME departments should incorporate learned and experienced industry representatives also apart from its current Board of Directors.

All these measures will, however, have to be notified by the state government. It is therefore now an imperative that the state government now changes the longstanding practice of going for national tenders for procurement of goods and services worth very small amounts from outside because most of these are locally available.  Moreover, given the golden opportunity provided by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the proponent of 'Make in India', it is now the turn of the concept of 'Make in Tripura' to be implemented in Tripura. The chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb has long been a proponent of the idea of 'Ek Tripura, Shreshtha Tripura' which can now be converted fully into reality with the prime minister's speech on May 12 2020 night as well as the announcement of the package by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 13, 2020.

(Shri Jayanta Debnath is the Editor & MD of Tripurainfo.Com with 30 years of experience in the field of Print and Web Journalism & Shri Pinaki Ranjan Dey is an Agri Business Consultant)

   (Tripurainfo)

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