The ongoing agitation for separate Telangana is sending ripples across the industry with several business leaders voicing concern about their future.

This trend was evident from the clarifications sought by leading industrialists during an interaction with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah.

“The industry is worried over the ongoing agitation,” was how Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) senior vice-president Harsh Mariwala summed up the situation.

The platform for the industrialists to bring their concerns to the Chief Minister's notice was the inaugural of FICCI's national executive committee meeting here on Tuesday. Another FICCI office-bearer and Asian Paints representative, Ashwin Dani, asked Mr. Rosaiah whether the concessions being extended to industry would continue even if the State was bifurcated.

Mr. Rosaiah termed the query “a difficult one to answer” at this juncture.

The Chief Minister tried to convince industry representatives that his government was firm on ensuring that the agitations for separate State did not hamper the developmental process. There was a consensus among political parties too on this count.

In an oblique reference to the criticism from Telangana leaders, he asserted that he neither favoured one region nor bore any ill-will towards another.

The Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee, constituted by the Centre after the demand for separate Telangana came to the fore, was on the job of preparing its report.

Panel report

The committee would hopefully submit its report before December 31 and thereafter “it is for the Centre to take a decision on the issue.” The Centre would take a decision in the larger interests of the country and “all should abide by whatever decision it takes.”

The Chief Minister said separate Telangana was not a new demand and there were several agitations in the past.

The Centre had ultimately tried to provide special packages earlier, but the demand picked up again leading to the constitution of the Srikrishna Committee.

Mr. Rosaiah tried to reassure the industry that it need not entertain any sort of doubts as the government was prepared to extend its fullest support.