Hyderabad: Telangana Commerce Minister KT Rama Rao has accused the Centre of biases against smaller states like Telangana in the allocation of funds for projects.
KTR was speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry when he said that the allocation of funds should not be based on the size of the state. “Big investments always should not go to Uttar Pradesh just because it is a bigger state and has 80 Lok Sabha seats. The central government is pushing the investors to invest in Nagpur, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Why not other places,” asked KTR at the conclave.
The Minister said that he was left disappointed four times in a span of five years when he urged the Centre to also encourage investment in Telangana.
Appealing to the Union government to rejig their strategy, he said, “I met four Defence Ministers in five years and requested to establish aerospace between Hyderabad and Bengaluru. However, the Centre didn’t agree and rather planned to set up one aerospace each in Tamil Nadu and UP. When I asked why, I was told that it was for geo-political reasons, which makes no sense.”
The Union Defence Department invested 15 billion dollars in multiple projects from its budget, but Telangana got nothing, KTR added, stating that it is time to rise above petty politics.
“We import a significant portion of Defence equipment and Telangana can make rapid progress with aerospace,” he said, adding that US President Donald Trump’s chopper cabin is manufactured in Hyderabad.
KTR went on to clarify that his appeal is not for his constituency Sircilla, but for the entire state as investment anywhere in the state will benefit its people.
The Minister stated that Telangana has recorded the highest growth rate among all states in India and the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) stands at 14.9 percent. “Telangana ranked on top of World Bank’s Ease of Doing business rankings two years in a row. Our State Industrial policy TS i-PASS is rated among the best in the country and it has received Rs 1.74 lakh crore investments in the past five years,” KTR said.
Besides, KTR said that the KCR government has identified 14 priority industrial sectors, out of which, Defence and Aerospace are major sectors of priority. “Hyderabad has historically been a strong defence manufacturing zone with over a dozen major DRDO labs and Defence PSU establishments,” KTR added.
Heaping praises on the TRS government, Rao said that the state’s progressive policies, world-class infrastructure and availability of huge trained manpower, made Telangana emerge as the most vibrant aerospace and defence ecosystem in India in a short span of time.