‘Lip service is of little use, encourage progressive States like Telangana’
Telangana Industries and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Saturday said the State was not being considered by the Centre for projects such as industrial corridors and high speed rail connectivity despite performing well on various benchmark indices.
It is disappointing to note that the good rankings notwithstanding, the State is not in the reckoning when it comes to allocation of projects. “They go somewhere else,” the Minister said, adding it is a number’s game and the State has only 17 (Lok Sabha) seats. Mr. Rao, speaking at the presentation of excellence awards of the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI), said the Centre should support and encourage progressive States like Telangana that did well on development fronts, initiated pioneering measures and completed globally large projects like the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation scheme at breakneck speed.
The State’s proposals for industrial corridors from Hyderabad to Nagpur, Warangal, Ramagundam and Bengaluru had not received support. Lip service was of little help, he said, referring to how Telangana received praise from union ministers.
Hoping the upcoming Union Budget to benefit the State, Mr. Rao said Telangana had sought more electronic manufacturing clusters, support for Hyderabad Pharma City and Kakatiya Mega Textile Park and clarity on status of Hyderabad ITIR project. Stronger States will lead to a stronger country, he said, reiterating the need for a vaccine testing and certification lab in the State.
He listed out various industry-friendly measures initiated by the State, including the TS-iPASS policy under which 13,826 project proposals entailing investment of ₹2.04 lakh crore and creating 14 lakh direct employment opportunities had been cleared. “We will continue to grow, reform and create benchmark for the country,” he said, assuring the gathering that the State will evolve better models of incentives and ideas to attract more investments.
On industrial incentives, he said ₹1,500 crore was allocated in the 2020-21 State budget for the purpose. “Unfortunately, we could not deliver because of pandemic, lockdown and revenues going haywire. But I am sure in the coming [State] budget we will ensure all industrial incentives are cleared,” he said. The Minister urged entrepreneurs to avail themselves of the additional incentives the State extended to units by employing more locals.
FTCCI president Ramakanth Inani said various schemes and assistance under Atmanirbhar Bharat for MSMEs proved “insufficient and ineffective” and many continue to reel under the crisis triggered by the pandemic. Stressing the need for more assistance, by way of subsidy and waiver, he appealed for exemption from payment of trade licence. He also sought improved road connectivity and resolution of hassles posed by Gram Panchayats.
Industries Secretary Jayesh Ranjan spoke. A FTCCI release said from just two categories at the time of their institution in 1974, the awards are presented under 22 now.
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