NEDP’s emphasis on sustainability, industry, innovation, infrastructural growth, inclusiveness and partnership to achieve the goals in development is testament that the policy embraces the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of UN. Skill Development, which is one of the thrust areas in the national arena is given due importance by NEDP showing the policy’s commitment to help youth acquire industry and New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) is a comprehensive growth strategy for Mizoram. Though formulated to push the Mizoram economy to a higher growth trajectory and to transform it from sustenance to market economy, the policy also has national and international relevance.
By addressing climate change, environmental issues and industrial development, it has immense relevance for global economy as well. NEDP’s emphasis on sustainability, industry, innovation, infrastructural growth, inclusiveness and partnership to achieve the goals in development is testament that the policy embraces the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of UN.
Skill Development, which is one of the thrust areas in the national arena is given due importance by NEDP showing the policy’s commitment to help youth acquire industry and economy relevant skills that will help them in securing a better livelihood. Apart from this, NEDP also focuses on generation of employment opportunities, innovation and invention, intellectual property rights, creation of shared/common assets and entrepreneurship development through promotion of zest for entrepreneurship, business acumen and innovative ideas amongst the youth. As such business plan competitions have been organised in coordination with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park to encourage and promote entrepreneurship.
It is encouraging to see some of the winners have actually worked on their ideas and started a business with the startup provided through NEDP. The policy assists and motivates budding entrepreneurs who are determined and enthusiastic to build a start up so as to create a profitable venture that generates not only self employment but employment opportunities for others. The framers of NEDP are clear on where to begin and where the focus and thrust areas should be for the growth and development of the economy of Mizoram.
NLUP-the flagship programme of the State has considerable achievements in various dimensions and one can see that the framers of NEDP are well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of NLUP. NEDP has been introduced and instituted to supplement and complement NLUP with the aim of facilitating further development and sustainable growth of various sectors in the desired direction. NEDP is a relatively new policy.
Therefore, it is not yet possible to comprehensively assess its achievements or failures. The availability of funds in NEDP increases the probability of its success. However, a good or well drafted policy with sufficient funding is not enough to ensure success, more important is its implementation. For this purpose, NEDP training and awareness programmes have been undertaken on a regular basis, and policy monitoring is being done in a better and more transparent manner.
As much as government and political will is crucial for the success of a policy, so is also the cooperation and participation of the citizens. Therefore, the success of NEDP will depend on the efficiency with which it is being implemented as well as cooperation and commitment of the people to work towards change and a better future. A great start is no doubt important but what people remember and what will make a lasting impact is a glorious finish.
(Views expressed in this article are of Prof Lianzela, Retired Professor, Mizoram University, and Expert Member Mizoram State Planning Board)