JK govt eyes promoting entrepreneurial culture through JKEDI


Unemployment is one of the major concerns for Jammu and Kashmir, and while the government is stressing on development of entrepreneurship in the state, its own report has highlighted several weaknesses that are main hurdles in achieving the desired goal.The Economic Survey-2017 report, prepared by the state government, said unemployment is one of the major challenges faced by the state as the number of educated unemployed youth, running in lakhs, increases every year.However, even as the Ease of Doing Business ranking of the state has improved significantly, the Economic Survey report highlights several factors which hinder the entrepreneurship development in the state.To develop entrepreneurship in the state, the government has established The Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) here with an aim to foster inclusive economic growth through development of entrepreneurship culture.In line with its mandate, the institute strives to develop entrepreneurial culture through entrepreneurship education, skill up-gradation, knowledge dissemination, consultancy services and developing linkages with national and international organisations to make entrepreneurship the mainstay of the state economy, the officials said.They said JKEDI implements several schemes which primarily focus on providing sustainable livelihood opportunities to the educated unemployed youth of the state.The institute guides and mentors young aspiring entrepreneurs by providing them diverse entrepreneurial training and later on provides them access to finance under various government sponsored schemes, they said.One of the major initiatives undertaken by the institute, the officials said, is the establishment of Centre for Women Entrepreneurship (CWE) – an exclusive centre which will focus on skill development and enhancing entrepreneurial acumen among women.However, even as the officials believe JKEDI is doing a good job, aspiring entrepreneurs said a lot needs to be done to attract youth towards entrepreneurship.While the schemes are good, their implementation is the problem. There should be hassle-free and proper finance.

The major impediment is the collateral security in the form of guarantee of government employee to repay in case of default. This should be done away with as many of us cannot find such guarantors as people are afraid of giving a guarantee, an aspiring entrepreneur from Srinagar said.He said another important factor is the non-availability of land in industrial estates, which is the basic requirement for starting a venture especially in manufacturing sector.While there is land, only influential persons get the plots. What is the fun of starting a manufacturing unit if the government fails to even provide land in industrial estates? The private land prices are too high, he said, adding that liasoning between various departments is another problem.