‘Aggrieved’ Telangana sends its wishlist for Union Budget

Hyderabad, Jan 24 (IANS) Including Hyderabad in the proposed defence industrial production corridor, funds for Hyderabad Pharma City, setting up of first National Design Centre (NDC), budgetary support for development of Hyderabad-Warangal, Hyderabad-Nagpur, Hyderabad-Bengaluru, and Hyderabad-Vijayawada industrial corridors are on the wish list of Telangana for Union Budget 2022-23.

Funds for Kakatiya Mega Textile Park (KMTP), Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), Warangal Metro-Neo project, sanction of Mega Powerloom Cluster at Sircilla, approval of pending and new railway projects also figure on the list of demands from the state.

The Telangana government, which has been unhappy with the Central government for doing “injustice” to the state in successive budgets, has put forward the sector-wise list of demands ahead of presentation of the Union Budget on February 1. The state has reiterated many old demands.

Industry, Commerce, Information Technology, Municipal Administration, and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao has dashed off series of letters to Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in last few days to seek liberal Central assistance for various projects.

KTR, as the state minister is popularly known, sought budgetary support of over 14,000 crore for key industrial projects like Hyderabad-Bengaluru, Hyderabad-Vijayawada, Hyderabad-Warangal and Hyderabad-Nagpur industrial corridors as well as the Hyderabad Pharma City project that has bagged the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) status.

He also sought sanction of additional nodes at Mancherial under the Hyderabad-Nagpur corridor, Huzurabad as part of the Hyderabad-Vijayawada corridor and Jadcherla-Gadwal-Kothaguda node under the Hyderabad-Bengaluru corridor, and provision of Rs 5,000 crore for these three nodes.

For the approved nodes at Hyderabad Pharma City and NIMZ Zaheerabad under the Hyderabad-Warangal and Hyderabad-Nagpur corridors, that the Centre has agreed to fund, the state has asked for a budgetary provision of Rs 2,000 crore each.

KTR also demanded release of grant in aid of over Rs 5,000 crore for the master planning as well as development of internal, external and technical infrastructure for the establishment of Hyderabad Pharma City as a NIMZ in Rangareddy district. He also made a pitch to Sitharaman to include Hyderabad in the proposed defence industrial production corridor

He also wrote a letter to Union Ministers Sitaraman and Piyush Goel seeking support for various works taken up in the handloom and textiles sector in the state. The minister had earlier written letters to the Centre on the same issues, several times.

He requested for sanction of Rs 897 crore for taking up infrastructure works at the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park in Warangal. He also requested early approval of the project.

He also urged the Centre to sanction Mega Powerloom Cluster at Sircilla and sanction an amount of Rs 49.84 crore from out of the projected outlay of Rs 993.65 crore.

Earlier, KTR also wrote a letter to Sitharaman urging her to allocate Rs 8,000 crore for various works taken up under the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department in the state, including the Mass Rapid Transit systems (MRTS).

B. Vinod Kumar, Vice Chairman, Telangana State Planning Board, has also written to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw drawing his attention to the injustice to Telangana in implementing existing projects as well as granting new railway projects.

“In the past seven years, the Union government has never prioritized the needs of the state, in any of its railway budgets so far,” he wrote. He also pointed out that joint venture railway projects with the state government, taken up with much enthusiasm, has not moved much and there are also other projects where detailed surveys were done but works did not begin.

The former MP wrote that since the formation of the new state, the Kothapalli-Manoharabad railway line is the only project that has been taken off and is being implemented with major support from Telangana.

As many as 11 high potential projects were shelved by the Railway Board, he said, also listing 25 high priority projects whose survey reports were submitted years ago to the Railway Board but a decision is still awaited.

“How many more years will this step-motherly treatment continue? Why must the states beg for their rightful share of resources every single time,” he asked.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government has been upset with the Centre for ignoring its long pending demand to grant national project status to a major irrigation project of the state, for not extending financial assistance for state’s flagship schemes for revivals of irrigation tanks and to ensure supply of drinking water to every household.

The state government is also unhappy over the Centre not fulfilling the commitments made to Telangana in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 and also shelving projects like Information Technology and Investment Region (ITIR) in Hyderabad and railway coach factory in Kazipet.

Telangana, which according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is fourth largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is also demanding that the Centre should support it for being a progressive state.

KTR raised this point last week during PM Gati Shakti South Zone virtual conference which was chaired by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

The state minister despite being a performing state, Telangana is not getting enough support from the Centre, though performing states need to be incentivised.

He highlighted the achievements of TelanganaA in the areas of manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, handlooms & textiles, power, coal and other sectors. The minister also noted that 35 per cent of global vaccine production takes place in Hyderabad.

“Telangana, the youngest state in the country, is blessed with natural advantages in geographical resources, a world class skill-base, existing manufacturing practices and expertise, that have opened new opportunities for investments,” said KTR.

He stated that Hyderabad has several decades of history of having a strong defence-related ecosystem, but the Union government has given the defence corridor to Bundelkhand where no ecosystem exists and neither the firms.

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