Uttar Pradesh gears up for 2022 Assembly polls with surge in rural economy

NEW DELHI: The country’s second-largest economy state and home to the largest number of small businesses, Uttar Pradesh is in full swing in giving a head start to its micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with an eye on assembly polls next year.

Sidharth Nath Singh, Minister of State for MSMEs, said the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GSDP), which stood at Rs 12 trillion in 2017, is at 17 to 18 trillion at present and will continue to increase thanks to a strong boost given to the rural economy through MSMEs. Singh also holds the portfolios of investment promotion, export promotion, NRI, khadi and village industries, sericulture, hand weaving and textiles industries.

“By the time we go to elections next year, we would have crossed 19 trillion rupees,” the minister said in a virtual interaction with reporters on Thursday.

“MSMEs are the backbone of employment and industrialization in the state,” the minister said, adding that the Bharatiya Janata Party government created a strategy to revive the rural economy when it took office in 2017.

Uttar Pradesh is courting private investment, offering credit to MSMEs who have suffered from mobility restrictions and lower demand during the pandemic, the minister said. One element of the state’s strategy is to support products that specific regions of the state are known for, such as sticky rice, which is now exported.

“Today, despite covid, buyers in Japan and Singapore are engaging with our farmers for this product,” the minister said. Similarly, silk is promoted in Varanasi. The making of idols for various religious festivals and events is another sector where artisans have started to see a big increase in income, the minister explained. The state is now helping many of its small businesses reach global markets.

Uttar Pradesh’s efforts to support small businesses will have a huge impact on India’s economy and livelihoods, given that the state is home to nearly 9 million MSMEs representing 14.2% of those companies in the country, according to available data from the central government. MSMEs account for about 30% of India’s GDP.

Small businesses have helped revive the economic structure of Uttar Pradesh. He was able to jump from fifth in height in 2017 to second currently, the minister said.

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About Keneth T. Graves

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