THIMPHU, Oct 11, 2019, Kuensel. With the Start-up and Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) flagship programme officially rolled out, more than 500 jobs are expected to be created and 25 new CSIs will also be opened in the current fiscal year. Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering signed the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) for the Start-up and CSI flagship programme with the Economic Affairs Minister, Loknath Sharma on 7 October 2019, reported the Daily Bhutan.
The CSI sector was identified as one the flagship programme in view of its greater socio-economic roles in Bhutan.
Cottage and Small Industries help drives innovation and investment, diversify economic base, create employment opportunities, curb rural-urban migration, reduce poverty, and has the potential to contribute towards Bhutan’s economic self-reliance.
Benefits of the Cottage and Small Industries flagship programme
Officials said that the flagship programme will be able to provide holistic support covering the entire business phases and create an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem for the development of CSIs.
The programme would focus on key domains such as entrepreneurship culture, legal and policy framework, access to finance and incentives, human capital development, access to finance and business development supports.
Some of the features of the programmes are: to enhance government approach, provide end-to-end support and link start-ups and CSI development together.
In an effort to enhance the culture of entrepreneurship, the programme in the current fiscal year targets to build the competency of aspiring entrepreneurs by training 330 youth and to establish 66 new start-ups.
Targets to be achieved by the end of the 12th Plan
Through start-ups, the project estimates to create 200 jobs in the current financial year, which is projected to grow to 800 by the end of the 12th Plan.
To ensure and enhance access to the market, the programme plans to create platforms by organising CSI fair, Expos and roadshows. At least three such events are slated to be conducted in the current fiscal year.
The programme also plans to develop national standards for CSI products and enhance the marketability for existing products such as noodles and sanitary towels.
By the end of the 12th Plan, the programme expects to create a dedicated CSI product outlet, both inside and outside Bhutan, as well as to upscale 21 products, diversify, and export them.
A national-level CSI fair will also be institutionalised along with the standardisation, certification and development of Brand Bhutan.
As part of the flagship programme, the CSI policy was launched during BEFIT 2019, to bring about an improved entrepreneurship ecosystem for the CSI sector.
The Department of Small and Cottage Industry, along with implementing partners from the Labour Ministry and other agencies concerned, is implementing the flagship programme.
By Younten Tshedup | Kuensel. This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.