Vision of the government for building Bangaru Telangana

Vision of the government for building Bangaru Telangana

The assessment of past expenditure has clearly established the fact that there has been significant under-spending in Telangana, relative to its revenue generation.

The Legacy of Neglect of Telangana

The assessment of past expenditure has clearly established the fact that there has been significant under-spending in Telangana, relative to its revenue generation. The two committees appointed by the Government of India, namely, K. Lalit Committee and Justice V. Bhargava Committee to determine the Telangana surpluses. It is estimated by noted economist, Prof. CH. Hanumantha Rao that the overall budgetary surpluses of Telangana during 1956 to 1969 was about Rs. 85.83 crore, though the present value of this is much more in terms of economic loss along with a loss of several direct and indirect benefits in terms of income, employment, and public revenues.

Based on the district-wise revenue receipts and expenditure during the years 2004-05 to 2012-13, the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) came to a broad conclusion that Telangana districts accounted for 49.5 percent of own resources and only 38.5 percent of the revenue expenditure of the combined State and the districts of Andhra & Rayalaseema regions accounted for 50.5 percent of own revenues and 61.5 percent of total revenue expenditure of the combined State. Thus, surplus revenue in Telangana was entirely on account of deliberate neglect and under-spending in relation to revenue collections and developmental needs and not on account of the higher revenue potential. Transfer of surplus budgetary resources continued all through the 58 years from 1956 to 2014 (see Figure 1.1), causing low public investment in socio-economic development, resulting in the inheritance of a lopsided economy.

Vision of the Government: Building a 'Bangaru Telangana'

The key challenge for the Telangana State was to overcome this legacy of neglect and create an enabling political, social, and economic environment, which promotes investment, growth, and human development. The formation of the State is a golden political opportunity to undo many of the disoriented policies and to introduce reforms for a participatory, accountable, and a development-oriented governance structure. The present Government vision is not only to undo the past neglect but also to build a ‘Bangaru Telangana’, which is inclusive and forward-looking.

The Government of Telangana, under the visionary leadership of Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri K. Chandrasekhar Rao, in last one year and nine months time, has taken formidable steps to undo the historic wrongs meted out to the State by reconstituting the existing policies and laying out a way forward for building a 'Bangaru Telangana'. The challenge for building ‘Bangaru Telangana’ is was summed up in the following words of Hon'ble Chief Minister: "The major challenge before the State Government is not only to regain the growth momentum but also make it inclusive. I firmly believe that growth has no meaning and even legitimacy if the deprived sections of the society are left behind...The initiatives were taken by the Government since the formation of the State in June this year have entirely been guided by these compelling imperatives” (speech before FFC, 2014).

Initiatives were taken by the Government so far, for achieving the vision of 'Bangaru Telangana', can be broadly grouped into three categories:

(i) measures to accelerate economic growth,

(ii) improving infrastructure facilities,

(iii) programmes targeting social welfare and inclusive growth.

Measures to Accelerate Economic Growth

It's matter of pride for the people of Telangana that within a year and nine months time Telangana's economy growth has turned around to be placed itself on a high growth trajectory, mainly due to initiatives were taken by the Government. Telangana is among the fastest growing States in the India by registering 9.2 percent growth in 2015-16 (Advanced Estimates), much above the national average of 7.6 percent.

A stable and high growth in agriculture sector is essential for uplifting the standard of living of the rural population. However, one of the most worrying features of the recent growth experience has been that of the deceleration in agriculture growth. The agriculture sector has been experiencing negative growth in last two years, on account of drought and structural rigidity. In other words, more than half of the State's population is experiencing reduced income. Keeping the drought conditions in mind, Government has prepared an action plan for the mitigating adverse impact of drought through a provision of input subsidy, augmenting fodder availability, livelihood assistance.

The government also realises that there is increased the need for a second green revolution in order to overcome the structural rigidities in the agriculture sector and to make farming more remunerative. This, for instance, needs farmers to diversify towards the production of non-cereals, protein-rich food products such as milk, egg, etc. In this direction, Government of Telangana has given a lot of emphasis on horticulture and animal husbandry. Telangana is a significant contributor in the production of horticultural crops such as mango, red chilli, turmeric, vegetables, etc. and production of milk and poultry products.

In order to boost growth in these sectors, Government launched four major schemes

(i) Micro-Irrigation,

(ii) Green Houses/Polyhouses Scheme,

(iii) Farm Mechanisation,

(iv) Rs. 4 Subsidy to Dairy Farmers, and

(v) Power Subsidy to Poultry Farmers.

Irrigation is a critical determinant of agriculture productivity, especially in times of drought. In order to increase irrigated agriculture, Government has taken two major initiatives: (i) launching of 'Mission Kakatiya' to repair and revive the existing tanks to their full potential, and (ii) according high priority to complete all major irrigation projects to utilise State's water share in major rivers, duly modifying the design wherever necessary, to suit the State's needs.

Accelerating the growth of industrial and services sectors, is vital for employment generation, especially for youth. The Higher growth rate in industrial and services sectors is possible only through attracting new investments into the State. In this direction, Government enacted 'the Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self-Certification System (TS-IPASS)' for speedy processing of applications for issuing various clearances without hassle at a single point and for creating a business-friendly environment in the State. Apart from this, Government of Telangana started various incentives for encouraging new entrepreneurship.

Telangana is one the major exporter of Information Technology enabled services in the country. Hyderabad has become a premier global destination for IT and ITeS. Proactive initiatives are being taken by the state Government to create state-of-the-art physical infrastructure for the growth of the IT Sector in the State. In order to expand it IT industry in other cities, Government has identified Warangal as Tier-2 IT hub and is providing suitable infrastructure facilities. The government has launched the T-Hub for developing Hyderabad as a start-up city and Telangana as a Start-Up State.

G.Rajendera Kumar

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