New Delhi | Abhinav Gupta: In what comes as big boost to Uttar Pradesh in its efforts to rake in foreign direct investment during crisis times, global software major Microsoft is setting up a 4,000-employee campus in Greater Noida.

The proposed project will give employment opportunities not only to the employees working for the global giant, but also to the locals in the process of setting up the large campus.

Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, Deptt of MSME, Khadi & Village Industries, in an exclusive interview to Jagran English, spoke on a range of topics, giving details of the proposed mega project and the upcoming electronic city near Jewar International Airport along the Yamuna Expressway.

Here are the excepts of the interview:  

Q: Microsoft is planning to open a 4000-employee campus in Uttar Pradesh, reportedly in Noida. Please shed light on the project, where will it be situated and when is it expected to get completed.

A: Under the guidance of Hon’ble Chief Minister, entire GoUP is working as a team to attract investment in Uttar Pradesh. At the Department of MSME and Export Promotion, we have been talking to prospective investors across sectors and geographies, since the last four months. Our efforts are yielding results now. Many companies have agreed to invest in the State. Prominent among them is Microsoft which has agreed to set up a campus in Greater NOIDA. The company representatives will visit the State in September 2020 to finalise the site. Post site visit, the company shall submit their investment proposal with the State Government. Noida and Greater Noida are among the key IT/ITeS destinations in the country. Upcoming Jewar International Airport adds to the attractiveness of these cities, for investors.

Q: What is the state government doing to make it easier for the company to set up a world-class technology hub?

A: The state government shall handhold the company throughout the entire lifecycle of Microsoft’s investment in State of Uttar Pradesh. To start with, we provided relevant information and data to the company to make informed decision about investing in Uttar Pradesh. Shortly, we will handhold the company with land allotment and approvals. Further, we will continue handholding the company, whenever required, even during the operations phase, as is the case with other investments made in Uttar Pradesh.  

Regarding incentives, the state shall offer competitive incentives to the company.   

Q: How will this project help in increasing investment in the state and creating additional employment opportunities, specially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A: Microsoft investment in Greater Noida will put the city on the global IT map. With this investment, many more international and national companies would consider Greater Noida for investment which will result in additional employment opportunities for workforce of the State.

Q: The UP government also plans to set up an electronic city near the upcoming Jewar International airport along the Yamuna Expressway that connects Greater Noida with Agra. Please shed some light on the plan.

A: The government has identified land near the upcoming Jewar airport for setting up of an electronics manufacturing park. Additionally, the state government is also on the verge of finalising the revised Electronics Manufacturing Policy 2020. Under the policy, the state government is targeting to attract investment of Rs 40,000 crore and generate employment opportunities for approximately 4 lakh people.

GoUP is in the process of finalising the Electronics Park proposal along the Yamuna Expressway. The proposal shall be submitted soon with the NCR Planning Board for necessary clearances.

Q: What other steps are being taken by the UP government to ramp up employment opportunities, especially for migrants which have returned from other states and now are left without any source of income?

A: The Government of UP is working on multipronged strategy to provide employment to the migrant labourers:

1. First, for immediate relief, the state government is providing employment to migrant labourers under NREGA scheme of Centre.

2. Second, the state government is working closely with the industries to ensure that they resume work at pre-COVID capacity. Their issues are being addressed on priority basis through online grievance redressal platforms like ‘MSME Sathi’. The Sathi platform since its launch in May 2020, did receive about 3256 complaints and out of which 2982 complaints have been  dully resolved till date. Additionally, credit is eased to the State’s industry through various schemes of central government (primarily under Atmanirbhar Bharat Yojna) and Uttar Pradesh government.   

3. Third, workforce of the State is being motivated for self-employment under various central and state government schemes like PMEGP, MYSY, ODOP, PMMY etc.

4. Forth, the UP government has launched ‘Pravasi Rahat Mitra’ App to connect UP labourers/ workforce with prospective employers.

5. Last but not least, the state goverment is working 24x7 to attract investment in Uttar Pradesh. In the last four months we have organised/ attended over 100 webinars/ web-calls to attract investment in the State. And now, we are seeing the results in form of investment commitments from companies across the globe.   

Q: How are the state-run banks helping the MSME units and entrepreneurs? How are they offered loans and what are the conditions?

A: Both public sector and private sector banks are approving and disbursing loans, on priority basis, to MSMEs of the State. Under Atmanirbhar Bharat Yojna and other schemes of Centre and UP government, both set of banks have extended credit to the MSMEs.

Loans under the central and state government schemes are primarily routed to the bank branches through GoI and GoUP platforms, respectively. Majority of central and UP government schemes are online now and applicants submit their applications primarily through these online platforms.

Here are some of the statistics regarding MSME loans in Uttar Pradesh:

1.MSME loans of Rs 10,000 crore are distributed in Uttar Pradesh since the launch of Atmanirbhar Bharat Yojna of central government.

2.Loans worth approximately Rs. 60,000 crore were extended to about 16 lakh MSMEs in the State, in the last financial year.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta