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Last updated: 06 Jul, 2020  

navneet.9.thmb.jpg UP govt to change lives of migrants: MSME Principal Secy

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SME Times News Bureau | 06 Jul, 2020

He is recognized for his work. Whatever the department, he hits the headlines every few days because of his style of functioning. He has held many important responsibilities under many governments successfully. We are talking of senior IAS officer Navneet Sehgal, currently posted as Principal Secretary of the Department of Khadi and Village Industries and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Export Promotion Bureau of the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, his department has become very important owing to the expectation of providing employment to a large number of migrant labourers and workers at the local level as per their skills as MSMEs are expected to provide maximum employment on low investment, low risk and low infrastructure. The central government is also aware of the importance of this sector. This is the reason why the Centre has given a package of Rs 3 lakh crore to this sector, Sehgal said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wants the maximum share from the package in view of the large population of the state and the number of MSME units in the UP, 14 per cent of the entire country. At present, Navneet Sehgal, the head of the department, is busy trying to stitch up plans to live up to the Chief Minister's expectations.

In an exclusive interview with IANS, Sehgal said, "To move the wheels of MSMEs fast, as per the expectations of the Chief Minister, as it will generate maximum employment, every possible effort is being made to make Uttar Pradesh a hub for production. A Saathi app has been recently launched to identify problems in the sector and communicate with entrepreneurs. We have given a link to the schemes in the app where information about the schemes has been provided in a transparent manner. The biggest problem of the sector is capital. For this we are constantly talking to bankers. Its results have been encouraging. We have provided loans to more than 57,000 entrepreneurs through online loan fair within 24 hours of the announcement of the economic package from the centre."

Sehgal said an agreement has been reached with bankers to provide loans to one lakh units in June and 1.25 lakh entrepreneurs in July-August. Once normalcy is restored, loan fairs will also be held at many places. Along with providing capital for capacity expansion and technical upgradation, we are also helping the government departments to release the arrears or refund the GST, he added.

In response to a question, he said, "It is unfounded that small units will be affected by the Centre expanding the scope of MSMEs. We will take everyone along. We hope that at least 10-12 lakh people will be accommodated in this sector in the next few months."

He said, "We have identified 20 sectors under the Yogi government's flagship scheme -- one district one product -- Varanasi silk, Bhadohi carpet, Kanpur leather, Moradabad brass items, Saharanpur wood items, Aligarh hardware, Bareilly's handicrafts, Lucknow's chikankari and Gorakhpur's terracotta etc."



He said these products are brands in themselves. There are also clusters of these products in the respective districts. Every possible help is being provided to make the products more competitive in quality and pricing. Apart from this, Noida's garment hub will be further improved. Establishment of pharma and medical equipment firms is also being discussed with the central government.

Asked how many migrant labourers have been given employment so far, Sehgal said, "Providing local employment to the workers coming from other states according to their skills is the top priority of the government. We have given the names of 2.80 lakh such people to entrepreneurs of different sectors. The process of getting employment for them has already started. Right now, the demand for two lakh people has come from Noida's garment hub. We are sending as many as are available. According to skill mapping, as the list is updated, the units will be provided human resources as per the demand. This is the motive behind the plan to build a common facility centre to provide all the facilities under one roof."

In response to another question, the principal secretary said that a huge amount of face masks are being made by the Khadi and Village Industries Department during the pandemic. He said the department has sold 40 lakh masks out of 50 lakh made of six lakh metres of khadi cloth.

 
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