UP readying policies for retail trade, data centres to boost economy

The Uttar Pradesh government is preparing policies for new-age sectors like retail and data centres to attract private investment and accelerate economic growth.

In fact, the draft data centre policy is ready and will soon be put before the state cabinet for vetting.

“While the data centre policy will be placed before the cabinet later this month for approval, the policy on retail trade is also being prepared,” UP chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey told Business Standard in Lucknow on Friday.

By definition, a data centre refers to a place housing computing infrastructure like servers, routers, switches and firewalls, apart from supporting paraphernalia like backup equipment, fire suppression facilities and air conditioning.

In January 2019, the diversified Adani Group had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh government to invest Rs 70,000 crore to develop a solar-powered data centre park in Visakhapatnam over the next 20 years.

The state government is looking to make UP a major data centre destination in India with the help of the new policy, which would offer several sops to investors. It is expected to generate large number of employment opportunities as well.

Meanwhile, due to a large population and area, UP has emerged as a key growth market for ecommerce and retail majors, including Walmart and Amazon, who have been expanding their online and offline presence in the state.

Besides, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017 has created both opportunities and challenges for small traders by transforming the nature of their business operations.

In this backdrop, the new retail trade policy is aimed at protecting the interests of both traders and consumers in the state. 

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to prepare policies by roping in representatives of the respective sectors and after taking suggessions from professionals and experts.

Growing ecommerce industry and the entry of global retailers has proliferated foreign investment in the domestic retail space. This has, however, not gone down well with small traders who see ecommerce as a danger to their business owing to a lack of level playing field.

Recently, CM Adityanath had exhorted traders and the business community to contribute towards making the state a trillion dollar economy. This came close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing plans to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

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