Job Scarcity Grips Assam

In Assam, the unemployment problem is increasing day by day, special status has been denied, no special propaganda for the local resources and the young generation is a worried lot, writes MONALISA GOGOI

Achhe din aane wale hain’– after 67 years of Independence Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Front government had come to power and the slogan of achhe din has been echoing everywhere in the country. The people of northeast region also had dreamt an India which would be trouble-free and tension-free. No educated youth will remain unemployed. Everyone will become selfsufficient and self-dependent. The central and state governments had announced various schemes to solve the unemployment problem of the country as well as of Assam. Some new schemes were introduced to make the youth employable. Along with education, this government is trying to introduce some programmes related to skill development. The government had organised the World Investment Summit to attract the investor from every nook and corner of the world to the northeast part of India.
The deputy chairman of Assam Industrial Development Corporation, Jitu Talukdar says, “Investment summit i.e. Advantage Assam is really a grand success of our government. Our state will be benefitted from the investment and we will be able to solve the unemployment problem of the state. The Tata Trust will establish 18 cancer hospitals.Rs2,500 crore will be invested by the Reliance Group and it will increase the number of its petrol pumps from 40 to 165.Rs600 crore will be invested by Century Plyboards. More than Rs24 crore will be invested by Patanjali; Indian Oil will invest Rs3,400 crore. McLeod will invest Rs200 crore on tea sector. And all these industries will create a platform for the development of the northeast and we hope that our government will be able to solve the unemployment problem of our state. Moreover, our government is trying to establish various industries to generate employment. A Plastic park has already been made at Tinsukia and a tea park is allocated at Chaygaon area. I hope though it is not possible to solve the unemployment problem as a whole, but we will be able to solve the problem of a huge section of the society.”
“The Prime Minister Skill Development Scheme is totally a flop policy of the central government. This scheme is introduced only to train our youth with proper skill. But most of the sectors are neglected in these schemes. Though the sectors like driving and hospitality are becoming important sectors and these services are related with our day-to-day life there is lack of such government institutions. Our Prime Minister always speaks about digital India, but very unfortunate thing is that most of the youths of rural and remote areas have been deprived of practical computer education. Moreover, recently our government had organised ‘Advantage Assam’ and declared that many investors would come and invest here and will establish industry here in our state. But, here I want to mention an information that Assam government had given more than a thousand acre land to Patanjali and if you visit their industry you will see that less than 50 per cent local people have been engaged there as permanent employees who are serving as managerial staff. So, we are not at all satisfied with programmes related to youth and employment generation,” says Jitul Deka, secretary general, Asomiya Yuva Mancha.
Regarding central government and state government policy on unemployment and on youth upliftment of the northeast part of India a financial analyst from abroad who hails from Assam, Samudrajit Gohain says, “In theory it looks good. But I have serious doubts about practical utility. Because the infrastructure is simply not in place to support employment generation initiatives. The youths of northeast are talented if they are properly guided or given a proper platform, they can compete with anybody else in the country. But this region is always neglected.
The president of All Assam Students’ Union Lurinjyoti Gogoi says, “We are not satisfied with the policies accepted by the government. They have organised investment summit and investors declared about their budget of investment in Assam. But the government should try to select the potential sectors for investment. Our state is rich in natural resource and agricultural products. The government should try to increase the productivity of paddy, tea, silk, muga, bamboo and canerelated products. Instead of ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ and ‘Namami Barak’, the government should emphasise on eco and cultural tourism. But we have not seen any special propaganda for this specific sector. There is no economic policy for bamboobased and wooden industry but the government is trying to impose corporate policy here.”

The government has planned to set up twin towers but it has no vision plan to solve the unemployment problem

The government has planned to set up twin towers but it has no vision plan to solve the unemployment problem of the state. The government is trying to attract corporate sector but local youths are always deprived by these corporate sectors. Human resources are supplied from other parts of the country, local people are not appointed citing the reason that they are not perfect for their job. Such economic policy cannot solve the unemployment problem and if the government thinks that by organising ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ or investment summit, it will be able to solve the unemployment problem then I must say that it is living in a fool’s paradise.
The two-time former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta says,“Though I hope for the best, I cannot say that I am satisfied with the schemes of the present government. Though many investors declared at the investment summit that they would invest crores and crores of rupees, it’s only their declaration. There is a huge gap in the implementation and declaration. In Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, many such types of investments were declared but those were not implemented till now. From the very beginning there were no resemblance in their speech and work. Prime Minister Modi himself declared that from May 16 all Bangladeshis must leave India but now they are inviting Bangladeshis with red carpet. So, we cannot say that we are satisfied with the policies of the present government.”
Bedanta Laskar, advisor of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee (KMSS) says, “All promises made by Narendra Modi are false and fake. This government is trying to blow its own trumpet by declaring digital India and different types of employment generation schemes. But it is very unfortunate to say that there are more than a thousand villages in Assam where there is no electricity. The villages like Atolpother, Balijan Grant of Charaideo district, Kaki, Dimorupother of Nagaon district are the best examples of Assam’s ‘developed’ villages where the villagers are deprived of electricity. Then tell me now, is it possible to create digital India here in these places? Modi government had deprived us from its special status so the state is heading towards a financial crisis. Though the government is shouting that it is trying to equip the youth with different types of skills, but in practical the youths of remote areas are not benefitted at all from these projects. The government had organised ‘Advantage Assam’ and declared that many investors would be coming to invest here in the state. But those investors are allowed to establish their industry at the areas where our indigenous people used to live. These people are blamed for ‘illegal encroachment’ at the forest area, however the same ‘recovered land’ from these ‘illegal encroachers’ is planned to be handed over to industrialists.”
“I am a Master’s degree holder but now I am pulling rickshaw. I dreamt that the new government would do something for the welfare of educated youth. I applied for ‘mudra loan’ but the bank did not grant me the loan. Though in ‘Mann ki Baat’, Modiji speaks a lot, but in practical, I have never felt that any unusual development is happening anywhere in the country. I only want to say that publicity and media help to make the present government a successful government, otherwise it’s a big zero,” says Dhruba Kalita.