Published On: Sat, May 2nd, 2020

Save lives first, then livelihoods: UP Minister

Lucknow: Saving lives is of utmost importance for the government and then comes protecting livelihoods, Uttar Pradesh MSME, Investment and Export Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said.

UP Minister Siddharth Nath Singh

The senior minister also said the government will hand-hold the industry to help it get back on its feet post the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Living becomes the most important aspect of life and then comes earning for the stomach, so saving lives is of utmost importance for the government and then comes saving livelihoods,” he said.

Singh, who also looks after the departments of textiles, khadi and gram udyog, was on Friday addressing industry stakeholders in an interactive session organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).

“We want to assure the industry that the government, both the state and at the Centre, are extremely concerned over the halt of economic activities and the revival of the Indian industry.

“Formulation of an effective stimulus relief package is on the way, with special focus on the MSMEs,” he said, according to a statement issued by PHDCCI on Saturday.

Singh assured the chamber that the intent of the government is to support the industry by addressing its issues and challenges in every way.

“We understand that if the government does not hand-hold the industry in these crucial time of uncertainty, then India will not be able to stand up again after COVID-19 lockdown is lifted,” he said. T

he minister further said the government will generate 10 lakh employment opportunities in the rural areas of the state.

“If we do not generate income in the rural areas, then a state like Uttar Pradesh will have a severe adverse impact, as 70 per cent of the population is in the rural area, so rural income has to be sustained or else the entire consumerism will fail,” he noted.

“We humbly request the industry to support the government in retaining migrant workers by accommodating them in the factory area or nearby locations, as once these labourers leave for their hometowns, it will be a bigger issue to get them back to work, and the industry will suffer,” Singh added.

Asserting that the state government is working day and night to frame an investor-friendly policy to attract foreign investment inflows, he said businesses will not be the same as it was pre-lockdown, but post-lockdown there will be opportunities “which we need to turn to our advantage”.

In his remarks, PHDCCI president D K Aggarwal appreciated the government’s pro-active and preventive measures to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“Now is the time that the government thinks of the future of its industry and takes responsible futuristic measures like addressing the movement of migrant labour issue faced by the industry, wages and salaries of the labour force and uplift of the MSMEs before they perish under the impact of COVID-19” Aggarwal said.

At the webinar, attended by several industry stalwarts, PHDCCI Secretary General Saurabh Sanyal appreciated the efforts of the government in motivating and supporting the industry.

PHDCCI has urged the government to provide an increased stimulus relief package of Rs 16 lakh crore, which accounts to around 7 per cent of GDP, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

PTI

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