Without improving power generation, there will be no growth in the state, said representatives of major political parties who attended a panel discussion organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on “Andhra Pradesh: What Next?” on Saturday.
FICCI AP division has invited all major political parties in the state to discuss various issues for achieving better growth rate. General secretary and spokesperson of Congress Abid Rasool Khan, BJP national spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman, TDP senior leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, TRS MLA from Sircilla K Tarakarama Rao and YSR Congress leader DV Somayajulu expressed their views on the subject. The discussion was anchored by dean of Indian School of Business Ajit Rangnekar.
Ahead of panel discussion, advisor to Planning Commission on energy IA Khan spoke on the power scenario in India, with special reference to Andhra Pradesh.
The power scenario in the country was grim and Andhra Pradesh in particular was suffering from lack of sufficient inflows into reservoirs with deficit rainfall in the last couple of years, he said. This apart, gas-based power stations are being starved of fuel. To address the power needs of the state, Khan said power generation resources should be utilised fully.
There also should be an improvement renewable energy generation, he said.
Agreeing that there is a deficit supply of 15 million units per day, Rasool Khan said the ruling party has been working hard to improve the scenario.
The state government is providing single window clearance for setting up industries, and providing land and needed infrastructure.
Nirmala Sitaraman stressed the need for a political leadership that has conviction and commitment to resolve the issues that are plaguing the state. Due to the power crisis, not only industries, but services and agriculture, which are major contributors to the GDP, are also suffering, she said. She urged the state government to come up with innovative ideas like setting up minor ports across the long coast line to create employment and business opportunities, which finally help improve growth. Saying that AP is waiting for right political direction at this juncture, she said all the BJP- ruled states in the country like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Goa are recording better growth rates comparatively.
Yanamala Ramakrisnudu said the government must improve productivity in the agriculture sector or should shift the large population that depends on agriculture to other sectors. As high as 62 percent of the population depends on agriculture, which only adds 18 percent to the GDP, he said.
KT Rama Rao said apart from other issues, social unrest also contributes to the backwardness of a region. Due to the inability of the UPA government in resolving the Telangana issue, many industries are looking at other locations, he said. DV Somayajulu said the power crisis has hit not only Andhra Pradesh, but is giving sleepless nights to eight best performing state governments in the country due to the policy paralysis of UPA, which has blocked the allotment of coal to power producing units.
FICCI AP state council chairman Sangitha Reddy and others were present.