Hyderabad: IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Friday urged the Union government to involve States in policy-making decisions besides liberalising tough Central regulations to put the country on a higher growth trajectory.
Rama Rao, who was speaking at a session on “March to $5 Trillion Economy: Reality or Ambitious” at the National Association of Software and Services Companies’ (NASSCOM) Technology Leadership Forum 2020 in Mumbai, also sought freedom for States in sectors such as service, tourism, healthcare and education. “There is a need to transfer several sectors from the Concurrent List to the States,” he said. Citing the example of smaller countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam doing very well in electronics, textiles and apparels, he said simplified regulations would help the nation compete in the global market. “The Make In India slogan has slowly turned into Assembling In India, and we should take measures to make the country a manufacturing hub,” he said.
Citing examples from Telangana, which has embarked on mega projects in irrigation, pharma and textiles, he said the State was now competing with the world. “We are now establishing the world’s largest pharma cluster — Pharma City — besides a mega textiles park in Warangal in addition to building the largest irrigation project — Kaleshwaram. Despite the national importance of these initiates, the Central government never helped us. When it (Centre) has no concern for such major projects, how can it dream of achieving a financial turnaround?” he questioned.
The Minister, recalling his interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he propounded the 3I mantra — innovation, infrastructure and inclusive growth, said building a new nation would only be possible by adhering to the mantra. “We have to compete with the world in the field of innovations. Telangana has already taken several initiatives in this direction including setting up of T-Hub and T-works,” he said.
He then argued that the infrastructure sector in the country was not growing as fast as it was envisaged. “While only Rs 50,000 crore was spent in Telangana between 2004 and 2014 on capital assets creation, the Telangana government spent Rs 1.60 lakh crore in the past five years,” he said, adding that the State government also took up Mission Bhagiratha, Mission Kakatiya and Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project with huge investments as they have highest returns per every rupee that is spent.
He also said such an investment also helps bringing the much-needed economic parity between urban and rural economy. He mentioned the initiatives such as We-Hub taken by the Telangana government, to increase participation of women in the economic development of the State. Inviting IT companies to spread their presence to tier-II cities, he sought Nasscom’s help in bringing IT companies to smaller towns. “The move will greatly reduce your establishment and recurring costs, and the companies can also benefit from the local pool of talent. Our efforts in bringing IT firms to Warangal are yielding excellent results,” he said.
Highlighting the efforts made by Telangana to enhance incomes of farmers in the field of agriculture, he said Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima programmes were taken up in that direction. The centre also has emulated Telangana’s programmes, he added.