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Rs. 500-cr. support for young entrepreneurs

Special Correspondent
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1 lakh students listen to CM on video chat service

Students listen to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s speech on Entrepreneurship Day at a school in Thrissur on Thursday.— Photo: By special arrangement
Students listen to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s speech on Entrepreneurship Day at a school in Thrissur on Thursday.— Photo: By special arrangement

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that one per cent of the State’s annual budget would be earmarked for the benefit of young entrepreneurs.

He was addressing students on Thursday, Entrepreneurship Day.

As many as 1 lakh students from around 500 schools in the district watched the Chief Minister delivering his address through a video chat service. The programme was organised by the Industries Department and the IT@School project. Coordinators of the IT@School project used computers, LCD projectors and other equipment in schools to take the Chief Minister’s speech to classrooms.

“One per cent of the annual budget amounts to more than Rs. 500 crore. The decision to earmark such a big amount for the benefit of young entrepreneurs has no precedent in the country. Within a month, a policy document for an entrepreneurship programme for the youth will be brought out,” said Mr. Chandy.

He said that entrepreneurship development projects in the fields of information technology and telecommunications would be extended to agriculture, health, tourism, culture and entertainment sectors.

“Hi-tech farming will be promoted. Entrepreneurship development clubs will be started in colleges. Finding capital will no longer be a problem for young entrepreneurs. This is an Onam gift for the youth. The government wants to create a State that has a contented and confident youth. The government will do everything possible to make their dreams come true,” he said.

He stated that success stories scripted by Malayalis outside their State were many.

“But we have not seen such success stories in the State. I want Malayali youth to be successful in their home State. We should thus lure back to Kerala those who went elsewhere in search of jobs. Situations that drove a generation of Malayalis out of their home State should not be created again. Keeping this in mind, the government declared its entrepreneurship policy during the Emerging Kerala meet in September 2012. From the response it triggered, I understood that it was a dream declaration,” he said.

He added that thousands of youths had visited the Start-Up Village in Kalamassery with innovative ideas.

Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty too attended the programme.

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