IT and Industries Minister KTR shared his thoughts during a virtual fireside chat on ‘States to Watch Out For in the Next Decade’ at India Economic Conclave 2021 organised by Times Group, today.
Speaking during the session, Minister KTR said that Telangana focuses on sectors like IT, life sciences, defense, aerospace, textiles, and logistics and he calls them the sunrise sectors. He also mentioned that India has immense opportunities to be a global player in these sectors. “If India and progressive states like Telangana start thinking and start planning on scale, to compete with large manufacturing countries like China, we need to set up large industrial parks and industrial corridors which further translate into economies of scale for our manufacturers,” he said.
When asked if there is any hope for a revival of cooperative federalism between the Center and the State, Minister KTR said the spirit of team India will serve good if words are translated into action. “We assumed office six years back when NDA Government assumed office in Delhi. Sadly, the slogans are not being converted into an actionable point,” he said.
Minister KTR said that Telangana is a progressive and performing state. But policies of the Government of India somehow seem to be disincentivizing and demoralizing for a performing state like Telangana. Telangana’s contribution to national GDP is 5%. However, Telangana needs to be encouraged and needs to be made a part of Central sponsored schemes.
When India’s apex body NITI Aayog recommended to the Government of India to provide monetary support of Rs 24,000 Crore for Mission Bhagiratha, Telangana did not get 24 paise. Except praises, Telangana never got any monetary support, he said.
Telangana is a new state and at the time of State formation, Telangana was assured of many incentives such as industrial corridors, ITIR, a Steel plant, however none of those promises were fulfilled. The stronger the states emerge, the stronger our country will be, said KTR.
“If India has to prosper over the next one decade and transform into a powerhouse, economics should supersede politics,” KTR said.
Minister KTR said that in a federal republic like India, the Center should support the States and have to work together. But the Govt of India has to realize that giving proper support to a State which is performing will ultimately help the country.
KTR also highlighted that Hyderabad is the vaccine capital of the world. “We are a city of international importance and ship out vaccines to 70-80 countries. While we produce 35% of global vaccines from Hyderabad, our vaccine testing lab is 1200 KM away in Kasauli,” he said.
Telangana produces 35% of the country’s turmeric, but the board is promised to other states, he adds.
Minister KTR also said that the defense and aerospace industry is a strategic sector. Telangana is home to several defense labs. We requested the Government of India to launch a defense industrial production corridor between Hyderabad and Bengaluru, but it goes to Bundelkhand.
KTR also said that the Government of India should play the role of a big brother and bring us all into one room, has to ensure we work together as a team, and has to support us but it’s not happening now, unfortunately.
“Telangana is a performing state which is contributing to the growth of the nation and its time the Government of India should take us into confidence and work together,” KTR said.