MSME Export Promotion Council expresses concern at falling investments in Uttarakhand

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MSME Export Promotion Council expresses concern at falling investments in Uttarakhand

Dehradun , March 16

To arrest the continuous migration of people from Uttarakhand, the state government needs to develop urgently an ecosystem for attracting private investment, which has been falling year after year, save the struggling micro and small units and encourage agro-based industries as well as organic farming.

In a study on “Growth and Development in Uttarakhand – emerging investment opportunities” brought out by the MSME Export Promotion Council, it has been pointed out that the current scenario particularly for the youths in the state seems to be worrying and, therefore, needs serious consideration. The study was released by its chairman Dr D S Rawat recently in New Delhi .

Dr Rawat said though currently there are nearly 58,000 MSMEs employing about 6.5 lakh people but its random survey reveals that many of them have closed down their shutters and many are struggling for survival due to non- availability of timely affordable credit, swift changes in the technology, and availability of skilled manpower.

While in 2020-21, as per the CMIE report, the total new investment projects announced both by the government and private sector were worth Rs.2153.59 cr, in 2021-22 the new announced projects were of Rs.5459.88 cr. The new investment projects announced in 2018-19 were of Rs.6743.48 cr, and in 2019-20 of Rs.4204.25 cr.

The total investment projects outstanding (PO) were of Rs.264493.92 cr and under implementation (UI) of Rs.138523.64 cr in 2018-19, Rs.243950.54 cr (PO) and Rs.1313392.52 cr (UI) respectively.

Whereas in 2021-22, the total investment projects outstanding were of Rs.243549.47 cr and under implementation of Rs.136491.55 cr and in 2020-21, Rs.265187.62 cr (PO) and Rs135978.79 cr (UI) respectively.

The study has suggested constitution of high powered committee to review and examine each project and expedite implementation to avoid any further delay resulting escalation in the project cost.

The MSME sector could emerge as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector in the State and contribute significantly to employment, gross domestic product (GDP), exports, and inclusive growth. The MSMEs in the state are focusing majorly on tourism and hospitality, food processing, horticulture, floriculture, natural fibre, pharmaceuticals, wellness and Ayush.

The MSME EPC along with the knowledge firm BillMart Fintech has proposed to take up two-districts as Pilot Projects to provide handholding to micro, small, medium, starts –ups, arts and crafts sectors to upgrade entrepreneurial skill and knowledge on use of technology for growth of businesses.

Dr Rawat said, MSME sector could mitigate the problem of migration by creating jobs, attract migrated population back to the state. The state should be developed and promoted as “Tourists Destination” and therefore identify four tourist spots, acquire land and promote these spots through private sector participation within a stipulated time frame. These tourist spots will bring change to the state’s economy and attract domestic and international tourists.

Since doing agriculture in the hilly state has become disadvantageous for reasons beyond their control, there is need to develop the entire hilly state as ‘organic state’ supported by the lucrative policy initiatives, and conducting training programmes for the farmers/traders and others. Though the ‘organic policy’ is in place, it has not been implemented. Tea, horticulture, food processing should be accorded high priority and efforts be made to create “Brand Uttarakhand Tea” says the study.

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