Place economics above politics: KTR to Centre

K T Rama Rao (File Photo)

Hyderabad: IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao on Friday advised the BJP government at the Centre to place economics above politics in the interest of the country. “Political considerations should not come in the way of sanctioning strategic projects. I would like to tell the Central government which talks about Team India, to make sure that they deliver on that promise and help progressive states like Telangana continue to grow with the support of industry,” he said.

Coming down heavily on the Union government, he said the Centre was meting out grave injustice to Telangana by ignoring it despite the fact that the State makes huge contributions to the Central kitty through its revenue generation.

Addressing a conference on ‘T- NEXT: Reimagining and Catalyzing Growth for a Sustainable Tomorrow’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Telangana, here, He said that requests from the State for sanction of a dry port, textile mega cluster, National Textile Research Institute and Export Promotion Council, Indian Institute of Handlooms Technology, defence incubator and centre of excellence, vaccine testing centre, medical devices park, plastics park, leather park and several other projects, have all fallen on deaf ears.

“We sought strengthening of the existing railway network, but there has been no response. While construction of eight railway lines and survey of three more lines are still pending, the proposals from the State for sanction of four new railway lines have been ignored. While the Centre has sanctioned a bullet train to Gujarat, it has not allocated even a single corridor to the southern States,” he said, explaining the injustice being meted out to South Indian States.

The Minister said the Central government was disinclined to extend its support to set up ITIR, pharma and textile parks and Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) in the State notwithstanding the fact that many companies were keen on establishing their units in the State. Describing the import duties as ridiculous, he said: “The Centre came up with the idea of ‘Make in India’ but nothing was granted for Telangana. No company would like to invest under the ‘Make in India’ programme unless the import duties are relaxed,” he said.

Pointing out that the Telangana government had already acquired over 12,000 acres land for Hyderabad Pharma City, he said the Centre has not responded to the State’s request for Rs 3,900 crore towards infrastructure development. “Why is the Centre not extending support to Telangana State? Are we not part of India?” he questioned. Rather than supporting Pharma City, the Union government brought the new Pharma Park scheme which led to unnecessary competition between major States delaying establishment of pharma industries further, he said.

Rama Rao appealed to the Centre to ‘think on scale’ and support governments that were equipped for industrial and infrastructure development. He asserted that India which talks of competing with China, cannot become the largest manufacturing hub in the world without achieving ‘economies of scale.’

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