Ahead of Budget, Revanth and Bhatti meet Montek Singh Ahluwalia

February 03, 2024 09:34 pm | Updated 09:35 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia with Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia with Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka in Hyderabad on Saturday. | Photo Credit: ARRANGEMENT

As the Congress government gears up to present its maiden budget in the Telangana Assembly, noted economist and former vice-chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, along with former CBDT member (Legislation) Arbind Modi and Praveen Chakravarty, met Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka at the Secretariat on Saturday.

Debt burden

The focus of the meeting was on the current financial situation in both Telangana and the Centre. One of the central topics of discussion was the substantial debt burden that Telangana has accumulated over the past decade and its potential ramifications on the overall economy. They delved into the complexities surrounding the economic challenges faced by both the State and nation.

The guests, who were here at the invitation of Mr. Revanth Reddy and Mr. Vikramarka, actively engaged them in assessing the impact of the debt burden on the financial health of Telangana. The discussion also touched upon the economic reforms implemented during the Congress regime at the national level.

Investment opportunities

Mr. Chakravarty told The Hindu that Mr. Ahluwalia felt Telangana underperformed and failed to live up to its potential. There are lots of opportunities for ramping up foreign investments and particularly tapping investments into the solar energy sector. Mr. Chakravarty said he was surprised when the Chief Minister focussed on climate change and how Telangana can benefit from sectors that have less impact on climate change.

Speaking on the State’s finances, he said that the condition was worst and the previous government had borrowed huge sums outside the balance sheet. “We told them clearly that this government has to fix the issue and it is not an easy task. The only way to fix this situation is by attracting more investments,” he said.

The three-hour meeting discussed ideas to generate more revenues. The discussion ranged on what kind of manufacturing hubs can be created and industries be attracted to invest in the State.

“The Aero Space Hub is a huge opportunity and Mr. Revanth Reddy is keen on developing Hyderabad into a Defence manufacturing hub. We will visit the Aero Space hub and explore the opportunities,” Mr. Chakravarty said. Similarly, the CM is keen on encouraging solar rooftops and this can be a big economic booster, he added.

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