‘Let economics supersede politics’

Industries Minister K. T. Rama Rao presenting CII award to V. Rajanna, Global Head, Technology Business Unit of TCS in Hyderabad on Friday.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

Industries and IT Minister K.T.Rama Rao lashed out at the Centre on Friday accusing it of ignoring Telangana’s pleas for projects of national significance such as defence industrial corridor, seeking assistance to those it conceived like Hyderabad Pharma City as well as honouring promises under the AP Reorganisation Act, including a rail coach factory in Warangal.

“The kind of support we anticipated from Government of India, in last six and half years [since Telangana formation], has not come,” he told a CII conference here. Noting that the State, however, continued to grow on various fronts, especially more than doubled IT exports, he said how sanctioning and support for the projects could have helped accelerate the pace and added more jobs.

While motive behind Prime Minister’s slogans such as Make in India were noble, their objectives could not be achieved so long as politics was allowed to influence decision making of the Centre, he said. “Decision driven by political compulsions will not help our cause and country,” Mr. Rao said, lamenting how a suggestion for defence industrial corridor between Hyderabad and Bengaluru, to build on the strong ecosystem here, was not accepted. Instead, the project went to Bundelkhand, where there is no defence company,” he said.

On promises made under the AP Reorganisation Act that were yet to be implemented, Mr.Rao counted special incentives for industries, in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh; an integrated steel factory in Bayyaram, and a rail coach factory in Warangal despite the State government offering more land - 150 acres – than the 60 acres that were sought.

The Minister also blamed the Centre for scrapping the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) project the previous UPA government mooted for Hyderabad, not extending assistance to the Pharma City project as well as not approving new electronic manufacturing clusters despite little space available at the existing two EMCs. “I think we would have created couple more lakhs of employment and grown at a much more aggressive pace had ITIR been grounded,” he said, referring to estimates of IT exports from Telangana set to touch ₹1.40 lakh crore this fiscal or more than double from the ₹57,000 crore at the time of the State formation. He also rued how the southern States were not considered for high-speed rail projects.

Appealing to the Centre to encourage progressive State like Telangana, he said India can compete with China and other large manufacturing countries with an emphasis on achieving economies of scale. “My request to government of India is to let economics supersede politics. A government [in the State] which is not in sync with you politically,” should not be a reason for not supporting, Mr.Rao said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:11:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/let-economics-supersede-politics/article34000322.ece

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