Lucknow: Hectic political activities have picked up in Uttar Pradesh, ahead of the state assembly elections next year. From issues of public interest to populist announcements, the process of highlighting issues has begun in the right earnest. However, even as the opposition parties make their own claims, various initiatives rolled out by the Uttar Pradesh government in promoting micro, small and medium scale industries (MSMEs) is overshadowing all other issues.

And not without reason too. In the last four-and-a-half years, 76,73,488 people have got loans of Rs 2,42,028 crore for doing business in the MSME sector under the Yogi government. Due to the efforts of the government, about two crore people have got employment from the loans given to this sector. And it is for this reason that no matter what opposition parties claim or say, they are not able to reach out to among the businessmen who are rock-solid in their backing of the state government.

The MSME sector of the state is making a new record in the country. 14 per cent of the units of the country are housed in UP and due to the industrial policies of the state government, investment in this sector is increasing continuously. New MSME units are being established in every district. Even during the global crisis of Corona, more than one-and-a-half lakh new units were installed in this sector.

Due to the special attention given by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a new core vote bank of MSME businessmen in UP is ready for the BJP. Taking cognizance of this, people associated with the business world are saying that this sector will also play an important role in the upcoming elections.

There is also a reason for this claim of people associated with the business world. When Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took over the reins of UP in the year 2017, the business activities in UP were sluggish and lacklustre. The condition of the MSME sector was also in the doldrums. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath decided to improve the industrial environment of the state and he rolled out many policies to promote industrial investment.

He got the Investor Summit organised and emphasized providing loans to entrepreneurs to set up their units in the MSME sector. The Chief Minister’s initiative had both immediate and far-reaching consequences. In the Investor Summit, 1045 investors submitted investment proposals worth Rs 4.28 lakh crore to the government.

Out of this, more than three lakh crore rupees are being invested in Noida and many other districts. Similarly, a large number of people showed interest in setting up their units in the MSME sector. Seeing the enthusiasm shown by the MSME sector in the state for setting up new units, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath approved the setting up of MSME Park to bring in maximum investment in this sector.

Under this, the state’s first MSME park is being set up in Sectors 29 and 32 of Yamuna Expressway Development Authority (YIDA). Apart from this, soon similar parks are being built in Agra, Kanpur, Moradabad, Varanasi, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur. These six districts have a large number of MSME units.

Along with these steps being taken for the development of this sector, the state government did not allow any MSME unit to be closed even during the Corona pandemic. Then, the industrial lockdown was not done to save the life and livelihood of the government. This decision of the government has proved to be a lifeline for the MSME units of the state. The new entrepreneurs of the state established new units, showing entrepreneurship even in this tragedy.

According to government figures, MSME is the most important sector after the agriculture sector in terms of providing employment in UP. In terms of the number of MSMEs, the share of Uttar Pradesh in the country is 14.2 per cent. Through the MSME sector, the state has been exporting more than Rs 1.14 lakh crore for three consecutive years.

How the Chief Minister of the state Yogi Adityanath has given priority to MSMEs of UP can also be understood from these government figures. In the financial year 2016-17, during the SP government, 6,35,583 MSMEs were provided loans worth Rs 27,2 02 crores. Whereas in 2017 as soon as the government changed, in the financial year 2017-18, a loan of Rs 41,193 crore was provided to 7,87,572 MSMEs in the Yogi government.

In the financial year 2018-19, 10,24,265 MSME entrepreneurs have been given loans worth Rs 47,764 crore and in 2019-20, Rs 62,831 crore has been given to 17,45,472 MSME entrepreneurs. In the financial year 2020-21, 34,80,596 MSME units have been provided loans worth Rs 63,038 crore. 16,002 crore loans have been provided to 1,25,408 new MSME units from 1st April to 10th November this year.

According to these figures of the government, 89.99 lakh MSMEs are registered in the sector in the state. There are three to five functions in one MSME unit. More than four crore people are employed in the MSME sector. From the year 2016 till now, loans worth Rs 2,42,028 crore have been provided to 76,73,488 people in the MSME sector in the state.

Taking cognizance of these figures of the MSME sector, industrial organizations claim that big and small entrepreneurs will play an important role in the upcoming elections. Chetan Bhalla, an ice cream trader associated with IIA, says, in the last four and a half years, the business society has been taken care of from the level of the government, the government has paid attention to making them easily available from land to loans to set up enterprises.

Due to this record investment came in the state and a large number of people got employment. Industries did not suffer from recession. Overall, it can be said that the efforts of the government in the MSME sector of UP have strengthened. To maintain this situation, the MSME sector will play an important role in the upcoming elections. MSME sector thus is not the only flagship of the state government but an out-and-out winner and a game-changer for the state.

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