The state government has also started work on a detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed 601km-long Ganga Expressway between Meerut and Prayagraj, officials aware of these developments told ET.
The Centre has relaxed the eligibility criteria for the MSME sector for the Rs 3 lakh-crore credit guarantee scheme that was announced in May as part of the ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’ package and changed the definition of MSME.
States have also been encouraged to promote such units in a bid to help the economy recover from the disruption caused by the lockdowns. In line with this, UP has decided to set up MSME parks in Varanasi, Agra, Kanpur, Moradabad, Gorakhpur and Azamgarh. The state has the largest number of MSM units in the country at 14%.
A July 29 document inviting consultants for the project says industrialisation in these districts has taken place in an unorganised way due to which the existing industries are facing problems.
“The objective is to develop state-of-the-art integrated industrial parks in the vicinity of existing clusters that fulfill requirement in areas of technology enhancement and physical infrastructure, provide industrial ecosystem to the existing units of the clusters, increases export, strengthen the supply chain, leverage the hidden strengths to expand inclusive development agenda and increase employment opportunities,” says the document, inviting consultants for the project. ET has reviewed a copy of the document.
In 2018-19, UP clocked over Rs 1.14 lakh crore in exports, registering a growth of 28%.
The document lists problems faced by micro, small and medium units—such as the silk industry in Varanasi, the leather industry in Kanpur and Agra, metal craft in Moradabad and textile industry in Azamgarh and Gorakhpur–saying the industrial units are either scattered or have become a core part of the city, which has expanded over time and there is no common facility available due to lack of space.
Citing the example of Varanasi, the document says the city generates up to Rs 4,500 crore annually from sale of silk products, but the industry still uses traditional ways to dye cloth and faces the issue of discharging the water.
UP has also started the process of DPR for its most ambitious expressway project which will connect Meerut with Prayagraj through a six-lane, 601km-long road passing through the districts of Ghaziabad, Hapur, Bulandshahar, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shajahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Raibareli and Pratapgarh.
Consultants were invited on August 1 for a road safety audit at the stage of the DPR for this project, which is expected to spur industrial growth and high-speed connectivity in the state. UP already had the 302km-long Agra-Lucknow Expressway and has also started construction of the 340km-long Purvanchal Expressway, 296km-long Bundelkhand Expressway, and the 91km-long Gorakhpur Link Expressway.