With the economy of Kashmir having had a nosedive for almost three decades our horticulture and to some extent our tourism has kept us afloat. However, from the last five years tourism which had increased the revenue of the state to some extent has also somewhat declined due to the political turbulence. The state government had tried its best to institutionalize entrepreneurship by providing subsidized seed funds to prospective educated entrepreneurs. But, how far have these subsidized funds been able to build entrepreneurship in the state and most importantly how much labor force they have been able to accommodate is the million dollar question we all are asking to each other?
The Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) is nearing a decade since its inception. As mentioned above its primary role was to provide employment to the one who gets the subsidized loan but also to other educated men who would be employed under him in future. A look at the indicators of our economy including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Human Development Index (HDI) suggests that EDI and other institutes of similar nature have been an utter failure.
It must be noted that these institutes are repeatedly fooling the state government and public by claiming that the startups spawned by their loans have a 70-80 percent success rate. The irony is that even in a startup friendly environment like san Francisco in USA and Oslo in Denmark the success rate of startups is just a mere 10-20 percent. How come the success rate is 80 percent here? And if the success rate is so high then according to the corresponding statistics the state’s GDP should also go higher or for that matter the human Development Index.
It is common knowledge that people who applied for these highly subsidized loans never meant to become entrepreneurs but promoted their small individual economic exercises like buying a truck, a passenger vehicle, or feigning to operate a non-existent travel agency, or getting their siblings married off in lavish fashion through the subsidized quotient in the loan.
The moot point is that when in USA the success rate of startups is just a paltry 10-20 percent then how come we have a success rate of 70-8- percent. The EDI authorities have been fooling the public since a decade and it is time to make them accountable. After all tax payer’s money should not be allowed to go down the drain like this.
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