The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to project the Purvanchal region of the state as an investment destination to foreign companies which are working out to shift their base from China to any other destinations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted the global supply chain.
"Agriculturally rich, the Purvanchal 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 Purvanchal as their destination for investment," said Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, MSME and Export Promotion, while speaking at national webinar-cum-seminar on ‘Sustainable Development of Purvanchal’ in Lucknow on Friday.
While asserting that Purvanchal (Eastern UP) region has a potential to become an economic hotspot of not only Uttar Pradesh but the entire country, he said, "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."
Highlighting the rich history of the region, he further said, "The British too had set their base 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."
Sehgal further said that the government is focusing on a few components for developing the region. "Government is determined to bring about drastic improvement in infrastructure. Next comes connectivity and the Purvanchal 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 added.
Emphasizing on the achievements by the Yogi Adityanath-led government, he said that the government is setting up seven Common Facility Centres in Purvanchal and now the state government has touched the mark of 38 per cent in export in the last three years because of product improvement. "The overall model for sustainable development of Purvanchal depends on development of local art and craft, skill training, infrastructure development and putting our ODOP programme on fast track," he said.
"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 explained.
Sehgal further shared that in order to increase the production and maintain the quality of Kala Namak rice in Siddharth Nagar district, the government has entered into an agreement with the International Rice Institute for opening its centre in Siddharth Nagar for hand holding the farmers.