Telangana CM woos industrialists, eyes global investments for growth

Promises best policies, land and tax exemptions; Sania Mirza appointed state's brand ambassador

By M Suchitra
Published: Wednesday 23 July 2014

The chief minister made a slew of  pro-industry announcements at a five-hour-long interaction with industry associations Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao seems bent on making the youngest state in the country a haven for industries. He has promised the best policies, a single window system for clearances, tax concessions and land for industries “ to boost economic growth of the new state”.

This was announced in a five-hour long interaction with industry associations held in Hyderabad on Tuesday for framing the fledgeling state's first industrial policy. Rao went beyond the expectations of the industry by taking spot decisions and giving offers and promises for creating an industry-friendly Telangana. “This is needed for financial growth of the state and providing jobs for youth,” said Rao.
In the meeting attended by about 45 industry associations from different parts of the country, Rao said his government would formulate the “best-ever” industrial policy in the country for attracting investments from across the globe. The government would bring in a new legislation soon to give all clearances except the pollution control nod at one go in 21 days through a single window system. “The industrialists and investors will not have to run around here and there any more for getting permission for setting up industries. Now they have to get 25 to 30 clearances from different departments for setting up industry. Even a company making huge investment has to approach a municipal commissioner. This has to change,” stated Rao.

To expedite the process, the chief minister said he would would keep the industry portfolio for himself. A separate cell would start functioning in the chief minister's office for giving permission to industries.

Industry apprehensions

During the interaction, industrial houses expressed their apprehensions over availability of power and land, and tax exemptions. Admitting that the state was not in a position to supply electricity round the clock, Rao claimed he was confident of making Telangana a power-surplus state in three years.

As for land, Rao assured the industrialists there was no reason to worry. He said around 1.4 million hectares (ha) of government land was available in Telangana. Of this, 800,000 ha are unfit for agriculture and 120,000 ha could be readily given away to industries.

A survey would be conducted in a few days to assess the exact quantity of land available for the industry, he added. Rao directed the industries department officials to furnish data on sector-wise details of tax exemptions and concessions given by the neighbouring states. The Telangana government would reduce taxes for the industry to levels below what other states levy, he said. Rao even offered to waive off about Rs 50 crore penalty imposed on industries by power distribution companies for overdrawing of power.

Interestingly, one of the major issues highlighted during the struggles for a separate Telangana state was that locals are not getting jobs in the capital city of Hyderabad where most of the investors are from coastal Andhra. But Rao assured the associations that they need not worry because his government would not insist on giving high skill jobs to locals. However, the industries are expected to provide employment to local youth where high skills are not required, he said.

A few days ago, after a review of the industry sector, chief minister had said that Warangal would be made an industrial corridor. A textile park would be set up in 800 ha on the lines of Tirupur textile park in Tamil Nadu. He had also stated that a steel industry would be set up on the borders of Warangal-Khammam districts with around R 30,000 crore investment from Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), a Central government undertaking.

New role for Sania

Tennis celebrity Sania Mirza has been appointed the brand ambassador of Telangana. The Chief minister presented a cheque for Rs 1 crore to her after making this announcement.

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