Criticism against Modi for encouraging industry decried. He said the BJP-TDP combine was committed to get Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) for Visakhapatnam with a potential for lakhs of crores of investment.

With the government lacking funds for investment and accountability deficit, industry has to come in public- private partnership (PPP), according to BJP senior leader M. Venkaiah Naidu. The government has to focus on services like education, health, power, irrigation etc and private entrepreneurs have done exceedingly well, he said here on Thursday quoting the examples of Wipro, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra.

Speaking at a meeting of Industrial Investment Development Forum that has taken out a bus yatra in Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Naidu countered the criticism against the party’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and asked, “Is it a sin to encourage industry?”

He said the BJP-TDP combine was committed to get Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) for Visakhapatnam with a potential for lakhs of crores of investment and it came as close to his heart as linking Ganga and Cauvery rivers. Tapping the gas potential of Krishna-Godavari basin would not only change Andhra Pradesh but the entire South India.

Completing the Polavaram project was also of crucial for the region and Visakhpatnam, he said.

BJP State unit president K. Haribabu was eminently suitable to represent Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha and people should not think of family or other reasons but only vote for someone who could represent them better. The contest was not between individuals but between policies.

Mr. Haribabu said Visakhapatnam offered a host of tourism opportunities to its neighbouring states as well. It had prospects for growth of film industry and land would be offered at concession between Visakhapatnam and Bhimili. With a long coastline, it could still develop 10 ports and offer dedicated ports to Chhattisgarh and Telangana for development. If it became a power-surplus state, entrepreneurs from the neighbouring States would set up industry to avail themselves of tax breaks.

Deficit budget

FICCI Co-Chairman J.A. Chowdary, who led the yatra of industrialists, said after June 2 the new State would begin with a deficit budget of Rs.14,000 crore and would not be in a position to pay salaries.

The government was not in a position to create wealth and industrial development was the only way to create employment. During Mr.Chandrababu Naidu’s tenure the budget had gone up from Rs.30,000 crore to Rs.1.6 lakh crore because of growth enabling the government to support welfare schemes. But if a new State was not led by an experienced leader like Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, it would go the Bihar way where industrialists fear to go. Even IAS and IPS officers from that State prefer to stay in the Southern States. IT in Visakhapatnam had great potential, he said.

MD of Global Info Vision Purnachandra Rao spoke.

BJP leader P.V.N. Madhav welcomed.

More In: Visakhapatnam