Reform initiatives in TS governance

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Highlights

The Telangana State Cabinet meeting that was held for two consecutive days initiated a series of reforms in the agriculture, marketing and employment sectors creating additional employment opportunities in the state. These are bound to have a positive impact on the targeted sectors.

The Telangana State Cabinet meeting that was held for two consecutive days initiated a series of reforms in the agriculture, marketing and employment sectors creating additional employment opportunities in the state. These are bound to have a positive impact on the targeted sectors.

At a time when the country is importing Palm oil in a big way and with ban imposed on palm oil being imported from Malaysia, CM KCR understood the urgent need to find alternative solutions. Accordingly, he decided that Telangana should encourage oil palm cultivation in the State. Cabinet has decided that during the coming 2022-23 crop year, farmers are to be inspired to take up oil palm cultivation in about 20 lakh acres. It was also decided to give Rs 2,600 per acre in the first year, Rs 5,000 per acre in the second year and third years as an investment subsidy for oil palm cultivation.

The Cabinet has also instructed the forest department, Forest Development Corporation to grow oil palm nurseries with the help from the Panchayat Raj and Rural development departments. The Cabinet has also instructed group of Ministers and public representatives concerned to visit Costa Rica, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia to study the oil palm cultivation methods. The Cabinet also suggested that incentives should be given to the oil palm process units in accordance with the guidelines of the Telangana State Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Advancement (TEDEA) and Telangana Special Food Processing Zones (TSFPZ).

Another major reform was that the State cabinet has decided to set up food processing units in a big way in the State. It was also decided in the first phase to set up 10 food processing zones. The Special Food Processing Zones will be set up in 500 to1000 acres and by 2024-25, statewide Food Processing Zones will be set up in 10,000 acres. It was also decided to give incentives for the entrepreneurs who come forward to invest in the sector through the food processing policy guidelines. The government would procure and develop all the basic infrastructure facilities and allocate lands to those eligible among the applicants. Through this, it is estimated to attract Rs 25,000 crore investments, provide direct employment to 70,000 and indirect employments to 3 lakh people.

To encourage SC, ST and Minorities, the government would construct sheds for them under the plug-and-play model. The cabinet has decided to implement Food Processing Zone policy, technology and skills in the agriculture sector. Rice Mills, industries, pulses; oilseeds, fruits, flowers, vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, milk and dairy products' food processing units would be set up under the policy.

The Cabinet is of the opinion that the state has the capacity to process the surplus produce of the agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, milk and fisheries, which was achieved due to marked increase in the irrigation facilities in the state. Financial incentives to the producers, farmers' organizations, and self-help groups and for the progress of the value chain through the setting up of the food processing units would be provided.

With the development of the processing zones, there would be increase in the economic activity, creation of more employment and finally it would lead to development of the remote areas. The government will encourage rural SC, ST women to get institutional opportunities in the zones. As part of the encouragement, the cabinet has decided to give several subsidies for the units established in the Processing Zones such as Power subsidy of Rs 2 per unit for 5 years, to reimburse 75 percent of the interest on term loan (Below Rs 2 Crore) taken for investment, to reimburse market Committee fee 100 per cent for seven years and to shift food products to the storage and for other logistics. It was decided to provide land in these Zones and support the commercial development.

Along with these, it was also decided to give additional incentives to the SC, ST and minorities such as, to sanction up to Rs 20 Lakh as the 15 per cent of seed money, to reimburse 10 per cent of the seed money interest and 33 per cent subsidy on the purchase price of the land allocated for the eligible in the zones. The Cabinet has also decided to give additional incentives to the Self-Help Groups and Farmers' organizations, to release 15 per cent of the seed money (Up to Rs 1 Crore), 10 per cent reimbursement on the interests of the seed money (Up to Rs 2 crore interest, 80 per cent) and 33 percent subsidy on the land value not exceeding Rs 20 Lakh.

It was further decided to encourage logistics sector in the backdrop of industries, e-commerce and services sector developing by leaps and bounds in the state. As part of this, the Cabinet has approved the Telangana Logistics Policy. Due to the Corona Pandemic, logistics sector played a very useful role in extending commodity service to the people. Worldwide the e-commerce organizations are utilizing the logistics sector and extending their services. Against this backdrop, to send products and produce from the state to the international consumers, the logistics sector should be given the required support and help. The logistics development is nothing but additional revenue to the food processing units.

As part of the policy, it was decided to develop basic infrastructure facilities in Godowns, Cold storages, Dry Ports, Track dak parking and other in the logistic sector. Setting- up Dry Port in a big way in 1400 acres in the State (Multi Model Logistic Park) under the PPA Mode; two new Integrated Container depots like the one Concur ICD at Sanathnagar in coordination with the Customs department to encourage more exports from the State; another 10 Integrated Parks all over the State are some more decisions.

Cabinet also decided to establish centre for excellence for skill development in this sector with international standards and with the help from TASK (Telangana Academy of Skill Development and Knowledge). It was also decided to set up Logistic Parks in all the districts in the state. It was also decided to give incentives to the entrepreneurs who will set up Multi Model Logistic parks, Warehouses. Through this, all over the state in the logistics sector, directly 1 lakh and indirectly 2 Lakh people would get employment.

After obtaining reports from all the secretaries of all the departments and vacant position, sanctioned posts, vacancies in different sections and also about the contract and outsourcing employees working in those sections recruitment will be taken up. The cabinet has instructed the officials to divide employees based on the new zonal system and new districts and to identify vacant posts district and zone-wise and also to take up measures to fill the vacant posts created due to the promotions. The cabinet felt that due to the changes that are taking place in the society and employment sector, there is a need to create new and modern jobs. At the same time, the cabinet also felt that there is a need to remove certain non-relevant posts and these changes should be brought in the employment sector. Rationalising and filling up of the vacancies in the government sector, state Public Undertakings, the new Food Process and Logistics policy is going to create employment opportunities both directly and indirectly in lakhs. (with VJM Divakar)

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