Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday inaugurated 52 projects to be sponsored by various companies in Nagaland as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Sitharaman launched the projects during the inaugural ceremony of the three-day CSR and Investment Conclave here, in which more than 100 corporate delegates and investors are taking part. Most of the projects are related to health, education and skill and entrepreneurship development. She also inaugurated exhibition stalls put up by various districts, departments, civil society organisations and NGOs to attract CSR investments.
Lamenting that Nagaland has not been getting enough CSR investment and not drawing investors, she said the North-eastern state should be the natural choice of companies and industries. There are problems in people’s expectations about CSR, because of which states like Nagaland have to wait for CSR to come, the Union minister said. However, she expressed confidence that the coming of companies for the conclave will be the stepping stone and many more will come and start investing in the state.
Sitharaman is also hopeful that with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) announcing that it will set up a training centre for the Naga youth to enhance their skill. She also suggested that the state government should take the advantage of NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission Projects to set up science labs in schools and innovation hubs in higher classes to promote Science & Technology education. The minister encouraged the state to focus on organic products.
Nagas should have proper branding of their products, Sitharaman said asked the state government to form a Task Group of Naga Youths to build the brand Nagaland across the country. Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said, We are very grateful to the government of India for bringing a greater focus on the development of the NE region of the country. As a result, not only the government but also the private sector is looking at NE with a fresh perspective and renewed interest.” Nagaland has not been on the radar of the corporate as the amount of CSR spent has been very low, he said, adding that the state has lots of potential for investment.
The conclave will provide the platform for CSR spending companies to harness various opportunities Nagaland offers. We hope they will use innovative solutions and resources to supplement the government’s efforts to meet the evolving challenges of public service delivery, he said. The conclave being held on the theme, Partnership for strengthening sustainable development Naturally Nagaland , has been organised by the Investment and Development Authority of Nagaland and supported by the Union government’s Department of Financial Services, Department of Public Enterprises and Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Sitharaman will participate in the Investors and Bankers meeting with a specific focus on Nagaland on Tuesday. Besides, she will visit the remote Mon district to inaugurate the first branch of a private bank. On Wednesday, the Union minister will interact with the Nagaland business community at Chumoukedima district and visit Heirloom Naga, a weaving centre, in Sovima village before leaving for Delhi.