A momentous day in Meghalaya's history unfolded as Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma officially inaugurated the much-anticipated CM-Elevate programme at the Vivanta, Shillong.
This transformative initiative sets the stage for empowerment, entrepreneurship, and economic development in the state, promising a brighter future for Meghalaya's youth.
Addressing the occasion, Conrad Sangma said the government aimed at engaging, employing, and empowering the youth of Meghalaya through entrepreneurship, which he believed serves as a holistic solution for fulfilling business needs.
He said, “We aim to create entrepreneurship opportunities for over 20,000 individuals across various sectors over the next three years. This initiative comes with a substantial investment of approximately 300 crores.”
Speaking about the partnerships that the government has established with both public and private sector banks to facilitate easy access to credit for aspiring entrepreneurs, the Chief Minister stated that financial support ranging from 35 to 75 per cent of the project cost to mitigate credit risks can be offered.
He said, “To minimise risks and barriers, we extend upfront financial aid to entrepreneurs and have collaborated with banks for financing. The program offers term loans covering up to 95% of the project cost, with varying loan terms (ranging from 5 to 15 years) and moratorium periods (between 3 to 18 months), coupled with variable interest rates across different schemes. We have created three lakh jobs in the private sector in the last five years, and I am sure the number will increase in the coming years. I have always held the belief that the government's role should be limited to formulating policies, fostering a conducive ecosystem, and providing essential facilities to support entrepreneurs. This is just the beginning, and as we progress, we will refine and adapt our approach, allocating additional funds as necessary.”
In his speech, Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh said, "The CM-ELEVATE Programme underscores our government's unwavering commitment to the betterment of our youth and the future of Meghalaya. We anticipate around 700 direct employment opportunities and numerous indirect job opportunities, benefiting the youth of Meghalaya. We expect more than 2000 direct and indirect job opportunities through these three schemes of the Tourism Department.”
The minister also highlighted four noteworthy schemes under the Tourism Department, namely, Green Villa Scheme, Homestay Scheme, Motorhome Meghalaya Scheme, and Prime Tourism Vehicle Scheme.
Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Ampareen Lyngdoh while delivering her speech highlighted the program's importance in the context of agriculture and said, "The CM – ELEVATE program represents another significant step in strengthening Agri-infrastructure in the State. By offering 50 per cent financial aid for the establishment of polyhouses, the program promotes the cultivation of high-value vegetables and floriculture crops. In its initial phase, the program aims to subsidize the setup of 1,000 poly houses, fostering agricultural development in Meghalaya.”
Vijay Kumar D said, “It creates an ecosystem for the development of entrepreneurship. The highlights of the program include the introduction of 15 different schemes. Our goal is to support up to 20,000 businesses in the next five years. With as little as 4,000 rupees in capital, people can start a business, and the government provides subsidies ranging from 35% to 75% to support these endeavours.”
The CM-ELEVATE programme is a comprehensive solution tailored to the diverse business needs of Meghalaya's citizens. Notably, the programme features a user-friendly single-window portal for applications, ensuring a seamless experience for aspiring entrepreneurs.