Akhilesh, Dimple Yadav to sign deal with France to boost UP's perfume industry

Lucknow: The Kannauj, from where the Mughal kings and queens got India's traditional perfume, the 'attar', is close to signing a twin city agreement with Grasse, the perfume capital of the world.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav are currently in France along with a small delegation of senior state officials and attar, or 'itr', manufacturers, to sign a twin city deal with the mayor of Grasse.

The Kannauj-Grasse pact — which will facilitate technology exchange, ingredient sourcing and partnership among perfume manufacturers of the two cities — is expected to revive and modernise the struggling indigenous perfume industry and help it tap international markets.

"Right now exports are less, and most of the itr produced in Kannauj is used domestically," said Manoj Singh, MD at UP State Industrial Development Corporation.
"Large quantities of it is used by the kitchen masala industry and other food manufacturers. The use of the indigenous perfume called itr is going down especially among the youth. We plan to change all that," said Singh, who is part of the seven-member delegation visiting France.

"Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who made his political debut in Kannauj in 2000, wants the perfumeries in Kannauj to grow and tap the export market," he told a newspaper. Kannauj, the small town on the banks of Ganga, known for its sandalwood-based attar industry, for centuries provided the scents that royalty longed for.

UP officials have now proposed setting up of a 400-acre special attar manufacturing zone in Kannauj for modern distillation and extraction units. This zone would have dedicated export manufacturing units from where perfume manufacturers in France would be able to source ingredients and fragrances.

Akhilesh Yadav represented Kannauj constituency in Parliament thrice. He passed on his seat to wife Dimple in 2012 after becoming chief minister. The Yadavs have been keen to develop Kannauj like Saifai, the ancestral village of the Yadav clan that boasts of an air strip, stadium, hospitals, swimming pools, etc.

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