“Official leaks which are coming out will only complicate the issue due to the confusion generated by different voices”

As the separate Telangana State issue has re-surfaced amid talk that the Congress leadership is ready to take a decision any time, industry circles are watching the unfolding developments with bated breath.

Anxiety levels have been on the rise ever since the Telangana issue gained momentum a month ago as the industry is batting for an early resolution of the issue “this way or that way”. The Government can ill afford to continue the uncertainty as the State has already suffered considerably in terms of investments and employment generation, representatives of the CII and other bodies said. “Industry does not want the ambiguity. Clarity on the issue will help restore the confidence of investors who had already held back their investment proposals,” CII former president Y. Harish Chandra Prasad said. Prolonged uncertainty over Telangana and the Government’s inability to resolve it resulted in the State suffering in terms of investments. “Economy suffered as a whole in the past couple of years because of global factors. But investments in Andhra Pradesh took a beating much ahead of the country ever since the Telangana issue came to the fore,” he said. During the previous Partnership Summit, AP had received 243 proposals with an estimated investment of Rs. 6.49 lakh crore and over 6.8 lakh jobs with manufacturing sector topped the list with 115 proposals (investment of Rs. 2.09 lakh crore). Though investments into some projects had commenced, a majority of the projects are yet to start owing to “specific reasons”, industry sources said. The CII believes that there is potential for further upside of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which has been consistently maintaining over 2 per cent growth over the national average, but the ambiguity on sensitive issues are likely to mar the prospects.

IT sector veteran J.A. Chowdary said the development of any State would be hinged on the political stability and the law and order situation. But uncertainty will result in frequent disruptions in the form of agitations and this was sure to make prospective investors think twice before firming up plans of investments.

“A firm decision will enable the industry as well as the Government to plan the development and the roadmap accordingly,” he said. The industry representatives appear to be not too happy with the way the “official leaks” on the Telangana issue are coming out. “This will only complicate the issue due to the confusion generated by different voices,” he said.

The industry is firm that an early decision on the Telangana issue, be it creation of a separate State or retaining a united Andhra Pradesh, would send positive signals to the investor community. “A decision has to be taken sooner than later. Otherwise, we cannot leverage the potential offered by the infrastructure as well as human resources if the agitation continues,” an ITsAP representative said.