Shillong, Nov 5 (IANS) The 8th Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS-VIII) concluded here on Tuesday with a call for action on a few identified issues critical to the building of an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the Indian Himalayan region.
Summing up the outcomes of the summit deliberations, Indian Mountain Initiatives Councillor and former MP from Sikkim, Prem Das Rai, zeroed in on a few action points that demand immediate action — main being the creation of tax and financial literacy among the local entrepreneurs, and the setting up of a climate risk fund to shore up entrepreneurship in the mountain region.
Recognizing that red tape still cripples entrepreneurial ventures, the summit urged the lawmakers representing the mountain states and uplands of the Indian Himalayan region to urgently take up this issue at the appropriate policy platform.
Rai said the key recommendations would be further deliberated upon at the meeting of the lawmakers’ forum, which had been scheduled for Wednesday here in Shillong. “Lawmakers need to mull over these recommendations and take action”, he opined.
Taking a step forward in its agenda to encourage entrepreneurship, the summit came up with a concrete decision to immediately set up a start-up incubation centre in partnership with IMI, Villgro and IIM, Shillong.
The IMI Councillor also suggested that many of the government schemes should be better targeted.
Another important issue which emerged at the two-day marathon discussions was the recognition of the need for a Himalayan brand for products of the mountain region.
The summit also paid rich tribute to late founder president of IMI, Dr R.S Tolia, who played a pioneering role in setting up the IMI. An award instituted in his honour was awarded to Satyanarayan Bharti for his life-long work on community forestry and water conservation in Uttarakhand.
North Eastern Council Secretary, Moses Chalai, while applauding the organisers of the summit, highlighted the importance of compelling and collective voices from the region for advancing the specific developmental needs.