As I write this, we have just got through an initiative that I believe will herald a change in the way we manage policy and its implementation. We organised a chintan shivir in Kaziranga involving bureaucrats representing all departments to formulate policy prescriptions and their implementation roadmap up to 2026 when our Government completes its term in office. It is a general tendency of governments all over that we end up promising more and delivering less. At times, there are genuine reasons for this while most times, we just lose track of what needs to be done and the time frame to do it. This brainstorming by our Government will go a long way in implementing promises made and on time and, of course, the course correction required. The vibes of this exercise is already being felt in Dispur. A follow-up mechanism has already been put in place, and it is at work.
One of the major promises that we made before the polls was that we will create 1lakh jobs in the Government sector alone. Having made a rapid stride in the month of May when we had appointed some 27,000 people in various departments in a free, fair and transparent manner, we took a step forward by handing over appointment letters to more than 11,000 successful candidates in September. They will now be part of the Government machinery which will deliver to the people of Assam an efficient regime. I am hopeful that they will drive forward a governance of quality to make life better for the masses and implement policies at the ground.
As I had stated in the past in the same column, there is a limit to what governments can do in terms of employment. However, it is the private sector that must drive the development trajectory anywhere, especially in Assam, while the Government can only act as a facilitator. It is this role that we choose for ourselves when we signed two MoUs with CGTMSE and SIDBI to boost the MSMEs and Start-up ecosystem in the State. I have already commented that the role of MSMEs in the State is second to none when it comes to their contribution to GSDP and employment creation. What I want to emphasise here is that the start-up scene in Assam is getting better and bigger through a curious mix of private and Government participation. Yet, I would like to inform the stakeholders that we will always be outside of it and not meddle into a system that is already vibrant and energetic. I am hopeful that next generation entrepreneurs will drive the State forward in the decades to come. I reiterate that our Government is committed to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and convert jobseekers into job-creators for the even bigger objective of transforming the State into a major industrial hub.
If Assam is to develop, it is incumbent on successive governments to maintain cordiality with our neighbours since they, too, are stakeholders in our progress. Ever since I assumed responsibility as a Chief Minister, it has been my constant endeavour to solve the long-disputed border issues with our neighbouring States. We have made significant progress with Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh already. I have never been shy of admitting that these issues take time but can be solved on a give and take basis. This has emboldened us to extend our arms and hearts to our Mizo brothers and sisters. I met my Mizoram counterpart Pu Zoramthanga at the Assam House in New Delhi and reviewed the ministerial-level talks held at Aizawl in the month of August. As a first step, we have decided to form a regional committee to discuss & resolve the issue.
In the same vein, only when peace is there in the State can prosperity follow. Based on our back-channel manoeuvring, and a steely resolve, we could persuade hundreds of Adivasi youths, who had taken up arms earlier to claim their right to a better life, to come to the mainstream and work with us to achieve the desired objective. I am deeply indebted to Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his personal initiative and the guidance of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while thanking our Adivasis youths for understanding the futility of an arms struggle.
A milestone that we all can be proud of is that the Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery Project that enables citizens to apply ARTPS-notified services online crossed the figure of four million applications last month. I am grateful to the people for reposing their trust in our citizen-centric governance initiatives.