The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to project the Poorvanchal region as an investment destination for foreign companies which are planning to shift their base from China to other destinations in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted the global supply chain.
Speaking at national webinar cum seminar on ‘Sustainable Development of Poorvanchal’ as the lead speaker at Lok Bhawan in Lucknow on Friday, Additional Chief Secretary, MSME and Export Promotion, Navneet Sehgal said, “Agriculturally rich, the Poorvanchal region is known for its cheap labour. If we now concentrate on the skill development of this labour force then instead of choosing Vietnam and Thailand, the foreign companies will choose Poorvanchal as their destination for investment."
“The region is rich in resources such as land and water and now we need to focus on further tapping its traditional art and craft which has been practiced here since generations," said Sehgal while stressing that the region has the potential to become an economic hotspot of not only Uttar Pradesh but the entire country.
Highlighting the rich history of the region, ACS MSME and Export Promotion said that Poorvanchal was very prosperous and besides agriculture, the cottage industries thrived here on the local art and craft. “The British too had set their foot here on account of its prosperity. But gradually we lost our way and now the perception about the region is that it is not developed and most of the people migrate from here in search of greener pastures. The reason is we did not adopt the latest technologies in upgrading our products. We did not consider the development of cottage and small-scale industries as the harbinger of growth," he said.
Further highlighting the factors essential for the growth of the region, Sehgal said that the government is focusing on a few components for development. “Government is determined to bring about drastic improvement in infrastructure. Next comes connectivity and the Poorvanchal expressway and the airports coming up in Kushinagar and Kashi are an example of this. Further, there is much focus on the One District One Product Programme (ODOP) that aims at reviving the traditional art and craft of the region," he said.
Emphasising over the achievements of the government, he said that the government is setting up seven Common Facility Centres in Poorvanchal and now we have touched the mark of 38% in export in the last three years because of product improvement. “The overall model for sustainable development of Poorvanchal depends on development of local art and craft, skill training, infrastructure development and putting our ODOP programme on fast track," he said.
ACS MSME also focussed on quality improvement of the products. “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had launched the ODOP programme with the sole aim to identify, promote and tap the potential of the traditional products. The government is building CFCs to improve products and provide necessary technological support to the artisans. It will push to ‘local to global’. We are making the district action plan for each ODOP product that provides details about the product weakness, and improvement needed besides any financial support. Through the district export plan, we identify the products that could be exported. In order to give an opportunity to small businessmen and shopkeepers to sell their product online, we have tied-up with big portals such as Flipkart, Amazon, ebay. ODOP has launched its own e-market place too,” he said.
He further informed that in order to increase the production and maintain the quality of Kala Namak rice in Siddharthnagar, the government has entered into an agreement with the International Rice Institute for opening its centre in Siddharthnagar for hand holding the farmers.