In order to overcome the Covid-19 headwinds faced by exporters in reaching out to offshore markets, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to promote virtual exhibitions (e-exhibitions) during the current fiscal year 2020-21.
Since transnational Covid-19 safety and health protocols are likely to result in the deferment and postponement of international trade fairs and exhibitions, the Adityanath government will provide financial aid to exporters participating in such virtual exhibitions under the flagship Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme.
Besides, the UP Export Promotion Council will also draft a blueprint to organise similar virtual exhibitions for the benefit of the state’s exporting firms. UP additional chief secretary (export promotion department) Navneet Sehgal has already directed officials to prepare an action plan in this regard.
Presiding over a review meeting in Lucknow last evening, he stressed upon the urgent need to facilitate easy bank credit to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the state under different schemes, including the one district one product (ODOP).
The ODOP scheme was launched by the Adityanath government in 2018 to promote the traditional and indigenous industries and handicrafts by facilitating state support in terms of setting up of new enterprises, bank credit and marketing.
The success of the ODOP scheme could be gauged from the fact that UP attained industrial exports worth nearly Rs 1.14 trillion in 2018-19 compared to only Rs 89,000 crore in 2017-18, thus registering a upsurge of 28 per cent. Since, more than 80 per cent of these exports had emanated from the MSMEs, it amply indicated the positive impact of the innovative scheme on the beleaguered MSME sector.
According to estimates, UP is home to nearly nine million MSME units, who form the industrial backbone of the state. The sector contributes 60 per cent to UP’s annual industrial output and directly employs 50 million people.
Interestingly, the MSME sector also blends with the macro development plank of the Adityanath regime, while resurrecting the positive image of UP and repositioning the state as a preferred investment destination in the league of Indian states.
Meanwhile, chief minister Adityanath today directed officials to expedite the plan to leverage the provision of Rs 15,000 crore loan component for the MSME sector in the federal economic package announced by the Centre earlier this year to beat the challenges posed by the Covid-19 lockdown and its aftermath.
Besides, the CM directed for creating district level employment portals to provide jobs to the millions of migrant labourers and workers, who were forced to return to the state following lockdown in March 2020.
More than 3.5 million migrants returned to UP from states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka, Haryana etc. The state is also preparing the skills’ database of these workers to assist them in getting jobs in near future.