A fresh advisory by the U.S. to its citizens to defer non-essential travel to Telangana and certain areas of Hyderabad has industry captains further worried about the falling image of ‘Brand Andhra Pradesh’.
The travel alert was released on Tuesday replacing the one issued on December 9 when Telangana was on the boil. Apart from warning U.S. citizens about the overall security concerns in India, particularly the threat of terrorist attacks, the State Department said: “There is also the possibility of violence in the south-central State of Andhra Pradesh as civil unrest continues over the contentious issue of Statehood for Telangana region.”
Industry leaders are dismayed at impact of the two travel advisories issued in quick succession as well as Chief Minister K. Rosaiah’s recent statement that the government was losing revenue of Rs. 100 crore a day because of the agitations.
These, they fear, will deter representatives of the U.S.-based pharma and information technology companies from travelling to Hyderabad to place fresh orders, renew contracts or firm up new plans. Hyderabad is the bulk drugs capital of India. It accounted for software exports worth Rs. 32,000 crore in 2008-09.
Events of the past month have already taken their toll of the CII’s Partnership Summit, which was shifted to Chennai. It was scheduled to be addressed by the Prime Ministers of India and Malaysia, and the Presidents of Maldives and Uganda, besides leaders of 25 other countries.
“We have missed a great opportunity to sign MoUs for setting up new industries, says Y. Harishchandra Prasad, president, CII AP chapter.
In a bid to undo the damage, the Chief Minister has sought intervention of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to bring the event back to Hyderabad.
The summit, according to Mr. Prasad, would have given a boost to industry as it did give to the pharma and IT sectors during the previous summits in the State. He estimated the loss suffered by the public and private sectors at Rs. 2,000 crore. Apart from pharma and IT, the sectors of hospitality & tourism and manufacturing, particularly small and medium enterprises, have taken a beating.
J. A. Chowdary, president, The Indus Entrepreneurs, A. P. chapter, said frequent bandhs and road blockades were causing anxiety to IT companies, including those engaged in R&D as well the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, as they found it difficult to meet deadlines.
They were chalking out plans to move to other cities if the political stalemate did not end soon.
The unrest was continuing on New Year Eve, a time when new contracts were signed.
“No foreign company will dare come forward to give business to Hyderabad in this situation,” said Mr. Chowdary.
With the shifting of summit, we’ve missed opportunity to sign MoUs for new industries: CIIIT firms find it difficult to meet deadlines; loss due to turmoil put at Rs. 2,000 crore