2018: A look at how the year went for Different Professionals
GUWAHATI: 2018 had brought with it a lot of new changes and dynamics for all kinds of people, across different professions. For some, the year was just the same, one more year gone by that turned their hairs further grey, while for others it was as eventful as it could be. We talked to some people of different professions to see how 2018 was for them, professionally.
We’re starting with a profession that saw some major action towards the end of the year. The nurses from Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) and Jorhat Medical College & Hospital (JMCH) were on strike for four days towards the end of November to demand “same post, same salary.” For them, the year was one of struggle, said a nurse from GMCH. She said that the previous year, they were fighting a demotion of their title from staff nurse to nurse and this year had brought on a new challenge. In 2019, the nurses hope that the government will take action regarding their demands and help them with their plight.
The professional year for doctors has been a good one. Dr Abhijit Hazarika said that a number of new hospitals and new facilities have come up in Assam. 3-4 diagnostic centres have opened where one can get many treatments done in Assam for which they would have had to travel outside a few years ago.
“Even though it has been a challenging year, we have made progress. The government has done a great job with outreach so that people have better access to healthcare,” said Dr Hazarika.
He said that even private players are trying to do the same. Doctors have become more accountable and care more about their patients’ safety in the present times. Dr Hazarika also mentioned that this year saw a lot of doctors coming back to their home state, so we have more and better facilities for the people of Assam.
Businessmen had both a good and bad year in terms of growth. “It was tough, but we made it work. New rules with regard to GST had been announced, so we had to get used to that,” said a businessman under condition of anonymity. He explained that even though there were so many new things, the government provided some help. It provided relaxation of GST from time to time and even extended some deadlines without any penalties. Contractors are at an advantage as the government is also supporting the making of newer and better infrastructure. Better infrastructure then creates new avenues for everyone as it attracts more business.
2018 was also a good year for most engineers in general. JN Khataniar, a business engineer said that the state has a lot of opportunities for budding engineers, as long as one takes the opportunity and is “at the right place at the right time.” A proud moment for all engineers in 2018 was the inauguration of Bogibeel Bridge, which is a great feat of engineering as also Dhola-Sadiya Bridge which was opened earlier this year.”
He said that the government is helping engineers and needs the support and encouragement of people but one thing that they have to look into is the absorption and production rate of engineers. There are approximately 400 engineers that pass out from colleges each year and don’t get proper jobs. The state is producing more engineers but these engineers don’t have anywhere to go once they come out qualified. However, people who are established in the business, like Khataniar himself, are doing well. Recently, one of his contracts, a big sports complex, the Diphu Sports Complex was inaugurated earlier this year in April which was worth Rs 45 crores.
The financial year for builders was a bag full of mixed feelings, said Utpal Das, a builder from Guwahati. Since prices of commodities have increased, demand has gone down. Customer ratio has also gone down.
“There are customers, but just a few. Even potential customers are still waiting in the wings, hoping that they might get a better offer. We have not been able to announce big projects,” said Das. One thing he said that the government has helped them with is RERA, as lot of tax-free builders will be out of the markets which will benefit the customer. However, he said that the builders of the city are waiting for a number of reforms such as the changing of the new bylaws. The process for this has been stalled for a long time and Das hopes that 2019 will see solutions to some of these problems.
For entrepreneurs, 2018 was an in-between year, said Swapnanil Talukdar, a startup founder. He explained that startups got a lot of traction in 2016-17 and people started taking the concept seriously.
“2019 will see two kinds of businesses. Normal businesses, that will start out as a startup and actual startup businesses. The food industry in this section is blooming. There have been so many cafes that have opened up in the city,” said Talukdar. Speaking about one of the important things that happened this year, he said that the event, “Impact Week” was an important feat that was organized to help budding entrepreneurs learn various skills. He also explained that the government had organized various initiatives to help out new and emerging startups. However, the flip side of it was that these resources are unbeknownst to many new startup companies because of lack of awareness.
- Real-estate developer