Appreciating the skills of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) entrepreneurs and handicraft artisans, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Thursday, said that they were getting global recognition which reflected the commitment of the government towards this sector.
“With the government’s encouragement, and the positive support from the bankers, the MSMEs have flourished and as a result of this, the government has brought down the unemployment rate from 18 per cent to 2.9 per cent in the state,” Yogi asserted.
In a move towards transforming the lives of youths by making them self-reliant, the Yogi Adityanath government dispensed Rs 16,000 crore as loan to as many as 1.90 lakh beneficiaries under the employment initiative of the state government at the MSME loan fair.
The beneficiaries of this loan fair were from various schemes including Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme, Chief Minister's Youth Self-Employment Scheme, and One District One Product (ODOP) Scheme.
On this occasion, the chief minister inaugurated Common Facilitation Centres (CFCs) in Agra, Ambedkar Nagar, Sitapur, Azamgarh and Siddharthnagar districts for branding, packaging and marketing of ODOP products. The chief minister interacted with the operators of the CFCs and discussed their functioning and future action plan.
Along with that, Yogi also launched an annual loan scheme of Rs 2.95 lakh crore for the year 2022-23 at the same event. He also inaugurated the Amazon Digital Centre in Kanpur Nagar district, a unit to help small businessmen in setting up their businesses in the digital world. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Uttar Pradesh government and e-commerce company Amazon.
Speaking at the event held in Lok Bhawan here on Thursday, the chief minister said that this area was neglected prior to 2017. He said MSMEs had completely died before 2017 and UP had the highest level of unemployment. “In 2017, we made an action plan for ODOP and now products worth Rs 1.56 lakh crore are being exported,” he added.
The chief minister remarked that when their government assumed office in 2017, the situation was quite challenging. “There was no scarcity of funds or lack of support by the Central government. Rather, the previous governments were lacking will power,” he said.
Stating that Uttar Pradesh was the most populous state of India and therefore it also had the maximum number of youths, Yogi said, “There was no main source of employment other than agriculture before 2017. In addition, the condition of agriculture was so bad that more than 200 blocks were declared dark zones, without any irrigation facility. The schemes of the Central government were not implemented in the state.”
He said in 2017, the government worked for strengthening the agriculture sector and also improved the industrial environment besides starting the ODOP Scheme in 2018 with proper research and planning. “We always believed that this scheme would give new life to our traditional craftsmen as well as increase the exports of the state. I am happy to inform you that export from Uttar Pradesh, which was merely Rs 80,000 crore annually, has reached Rs 1.60 lakh crore.”
Praising the work of MSME entrepreneurs and handicraft artisans, the chief minister said that they showed their skills in front of the world. He said the government gave encouragement to this sector and the bankers offered positive support as a result of which the government got success in bringing down the unemployment rate from 18 per cent to 2.9 per cent in the state.
The chief minister also said that UP was the first state that organised a loan fair with inspiration from the prime minister during the pandemic period. “As a result of continuous efforts, the CD Ratio has increased from 46 per cent to 53 per cent today,” he said.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat, the chief minister said that the youth in the state should focus on creating job opportunities rather than running after jobs. He pointed out that schemes like ODOP had helped the youth in this direction.
Speaking about the annual loan scheme for the year 2022-23, the chief minister appealed to bankers to aim to increase the cash-deposit ratio from 53 per cent to 55 per cent and take it to 60 per cent in the next five years. He said loan borrowers should be linked to digital banking.
“Our handicrafts/artisans will also have a capital guarantee. We are going to prepare such a plan that if any special situation arises, then the government will be the support for the artisan,” he said, adding that the government was soon going to issue family cards to connect at least one member of every family with employment of self-employment and the role of banks would be important in this.
The chief minister also stressed on making people aware of the government schemes so that maximum youth could get the benefit.
“Many eligible people are not aware of the government schemes. The educational/ training institutions keep a neutral attitude in this regard. It should be mandatory for them to connect with the public welfare schemes of the Central and state governments. Banks should also have a system to inform the youth about the schemes of their interest. If these two organisations do this work, the youth will benefit greatly,” he said.