At the outset, I extend my wishes of 'Uttar Pradesh Utsav' to the residents of the State on the 68th Foundation Day of the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Although there is a remarkable and perpetual history and vibrant tradition of every District of Uttar Pradesh, yet the current name was given to the state on 24th January, 1950.
This is for the first time that the State Government has resolved to commemorate 24th January as the Uttar Pradesh diwas, through which the concept of resurrection of state shall be presented before the people, directors, administrators etc. and their active participation shall be called upon in the next three days.
Almost 40 departments of the State Government shall launch developmental projects of approximately Rs. 24000 crore. On this occasion, eminent personalities from the domains of art, literature, sports, science, technology and education will also be honoured. I applaud this effort by the State Government and heartily congratulate 22 crore people of the State on behalf of myself and all countrymen.
Friends, as I said in the beginning that Uttar Pradesh had a rich and perpetual history. This sacred land of Ram and Krishna has witnessed the spiritual and materialistic rise in the course of its history.
In 1775, Nawab Aasafuddaula of Awadh shifted the capital of Awadh from Faizabad to Lucknow. Since then, Lucknow has been the epitome and symbol of Ganga-Jamuni culture of Awadh.
Friends, this week is of special importance to the residents of State. On the 26th January Republic of India shall also commemorate its 68th anniversary. Uttar Pradesh has been a great contributor to the freedom movement and it is important to remember the outstanding figures like great woman Rani Lakshmi Bai. He further said that this land is a witness to the heroism of Amar Krantikari Mangal Pandey and his companions in 1857. Shaheed Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaq Ulla Khan, Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya, Govind Vallabh Pant, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru, Acharya Narendra Dev and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee are the great men from Uttar Pradesh.
The next Republic Day shall be an occasion to remember the struggle and dedication of such great figures and to reassent the resolution of service of the nation.
Friends, in terms of area, Uttar Pradesh covers 7% of the total area of the country. Yet, it is home for 20% of the country's total population. This State contributes about 8.5% in the country's economy.
In terms of micro, small and medium enterprises, Uttar Pradesh houses the largest number of such units. 8% of small industries of the country are situated in Uttar Pradesh which is the second largest employment generating area after agriculture. Traditional handicrafts, food processing, carpet, leather goods, readymade garments are primary areas amongst them. 44% of the handicrafts export of the country is dealt by Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, 26% of leather export of the country is dealt by Uttar Pradesh.
State Government has done a commendable job by developing traditional crafts and small and micro entrepreneurs and thus creating new possibilities of skilled employment in this sector through the concept of 'One District-One Product'.
Similarly, the traditional craftsmen and artisans could be given certificate post training so that they will able to get assistance from Government schemes to set up their own business and can get loans from banks.
I am happy that the State Government has taken steps to encourage new entrepreneurs in the direction of self-employment in the state through the Government of India's monetary policy, Stand-up India, PMFGP, Mukhya Mantri Yuva Swarojgar Yojana and Vishwakarma Shram Samman Yojana. Last year, the state ranked 15th in the list of Ease of Doing Business. This situation has ample possibilities for improvement.
I am satisfied to note that the state government is bringing policy and systemic changes to attract investments. I extend my good wishes for your efforts. One of the objectives of the Uttar Pradesh Utsav is to present and promote the rich cultural heritage, literary, artistic and craftsmanship also. The experience of poverty eradication and employment generation through tourism in Uttar Pradesh will benefit other states as well.
I am happy to note that state Government is creating tourism infrastructure at tourism centres through ' Prasad Scheme' of Government of India. I hope that the cultural heritage of the state would provide employment to the current generations also.
I am happy to know that 99% target of sanctioning 8.80 lakhs houses under Pradhan Mantri Gram Awas Yojana has been achieved in rural and agricultural development sector.
Friends, I once again extend my hearty congratulations of Uttar Pradesh Utsav to 22 crore population residing in 75 districts of the state and express best wishes for the forthcoming Investor Summit-2018. I also convey my best wishes to the diligent and progressive Chief Minister of the State. Uttar Pradesh has to be transformed in to Uttam Pradesh.