ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Is Telangana a rich State?

Is Telangana a rich State?
Highlights

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s statement that Telangana is a rich state has evoked a sharp political reaction. During the Telangana movement, it was repeatedly pointed out that Telangana region was pauperised un- der the Andhra rulers. How can it now become a prosperous state? His statement fails to clarify this.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s statement that Telangana is a rich state has evoked a sharp political reaction. The Gross District Domestic Product (GDDP) data indicates that three districts – Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medak – together account for half of the State income (GSDP), while the districts like Nizamabad, Adilabad, and Warangal share only 17 per cent of the State GSDP.

Therefore, any characterisation of the State as a prosperous one by just looking at Hyderabad and its surroundings is an erroneous assumption. As observed by numerous committees appointed by the Government of India, a majority of districts in Telangana continue to remain backward with nine out of 10 districts in the State covered under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF). Mere political rhetoric would not help the State and its people

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s statement that Telangana is a rich state has evoked a sharp political reaction. During the Telangana movement, it was repeatedly pointed out that Telangana region was pauperised un- der the Andhra rulers. How can it now become a prosperous state? His statement fails to clarify this.

Nor- mally central funds flow to poorer and under developed states. Any of- ficial claim that Telangana is a rich state would turn detrimental to the interests of the state. Leaving aside the politics of this statement, one should analyse the reality. In November 2014, the Fi- nance Minister of Telangana, Eatala Rajender, in his maiden budget speech said: “Opportunities were lost and problems accumulated as a re- sult of deliberate neglect of Telan- gana.”

How did this situation change in just a couple of months after bi- furcation, making the state a pros- perous one? Is Telangana richer than India? The budget speech for the financial year 2014-15 answers this dilemma. The budget speech on page 5 said, ”

The per capita income of the State at Rs 93,151 in 2013-14, though higher than the national average of Rs 74,920, masks wide variations across districts. In Telangana, only three out of ten districts have per capita income higher than the national average. In the remaining seven districts, the per capita income is below the national average.

As observed by numerous committees appointed by the Gov- ernment of India, a majority of dis- tricts in Telangana continue to re- main backward with nine out of 10 districts in the state covered under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF).” Chief minister Chandrashekar Rao should have been aware of these facts quoted in the budget speech. But, still he declared Telangana as a richer state than before. A statement of fact is different from a stated am- bition. Mixing of the two would send wrong signals.

The main reason for this uneven distribution of income across the districts is on account of large sec- toral income variations . The Rein- venting Telangana: Socio Economic Outlook 2014 observed, “The un- even regional distribution of income coupled with uneven growth is giving rise to widening regional dispari- ties”. The Per Capita District Domestic Product (DDP) is the lowest in dis- tricts like Mahabubnagar, Nizam- abad and Warangal. Telangana like many parts of India also suffers from inequalities of different kinds. There exist substantial variations in the levels of development across dis- tricts of Telangana.

The Gross Dis- trict Domestic Product (GDDP) data indicates that three districts – Hy- derabad, Ranga Reddy and Medak – together account for the half of the State income (GSDP), while the dis- tricts like Nizamabad, Adilabad, and Warangal share only 17 per cent of the State GSDP. Therefore, any characterisaton of the State as a prosperous one by just looking at Hyderabad and its sur- roundings is an erroneous assump- tion.

The gap between the per capita in- come of the poorest and the richest districts is increasing over time. In fact, though Ranga Reddy and Medak are grouped along with Hyderabad as richer districts, these districts are not really richer. Only certain areas geographically closer to capital have higher income. This analysis reveals that the development is mainly con- centrated in Hyderabad. Chief Min- ister is right when he said that the 14th Finance Commission charac- terised Telangana as a surplus State. But the concept of surplus and pros- perity are not similar.

The word sur- plus indicates a revenue–expendi- ture gap while the word rich indicates the income level. Hyderabad mainly contributes to the surplus character of the state economy. The growing inter-district inequalities seriously undermine the integrity of the new state too. Telan- gana should learn from the experi- ence of the united Andhra Pradesh. Telangana lags behind in many in- dicators of social development for in- stance, Literacy rate of the state is lower than that of all India average.

The state witnessed a slow growth of literacy. The rank of Telangana is 25 among the states in 2011. The pro- portion of households with no adult literate was 29 per cent in rural Telangana while it was only 18.7 per cent at all India level. Besides literacy, health indicators form a vital measure of human de- velopment in any state. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is a crucial in- dicator to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of health system. Though IMR has been declining over time, Telangana lags behind the pro- gressive states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The malnutrition levels in Telan- gana are at the higher end at 43 per cent among children below six years and over 80 per cent among adults, said Socio Economic Outlook 2014, a document presented to the Telan- gana legislature by the Government of Telangana ( page no. 84 ) the high incidence of malnutrition among children (less than 60 months) and chronic energy deficiency among women in the reproductive age group is major challenge in Telan- gana.

The Socio Economic Survey re- veals another disturbing aspect of public health challenge in the state. The HIV epidemic remains a major public health challenge in Telangana state with an estimated two lakh per- sons living with HIV/AIDS. This of- ficial data reveals the high incidence of human poverty in the state.

Mere political rhetoric would not help the state and its people. The state of Telangana has challenges and opportunities. It’s the time for the government to overcome the challenges and harness the opportu- nities.

Stay updated on the go with The Hans India News App. Click the icons to download it for your device.
Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
Subscribed Failed...
Subscribed Successfully...
More Stories


Top