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Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh a must, says CM Jagan Mohan Reddy

Vijayawada : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday reiterated that rapid industrialisation of the State is possible only if Special Category Status (SCS) is accorded to the State.

He urged the Centre to expedite the approval of revised cost estimates of the Polavaram Irrigation Project for timely completion of the project.

Participating in the sixth Governing Council meeting of Niti Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said that bifurcation resulted in the State being deprived of a Tier-1 city, infrastructure, employment opportunities and financial resources.

“Rapid industrialisation of my State is possible only if Special Category Status is accorded. This was a commitment made on the floor of Parliament and was a precondition to bifurcation,’’ Jagan said.

“For India to become a formidable force in manufacturing, we must conduct a thorough study and analyse the factors that have contributed to the success of countries that have demonstrated good progress in manufacturing sector.

In my opinion, the five significant impediments to the manufacturing sector growth are exorbitant cost of funds available from our financial institutions, high cost of power, delays associated with land procurement, delay and complexity in grant of statutory clearances, and rigid labour laws.

With respect to each of these hurdles, the State governments and the Centre must take a deeper drive to understand the root cause and make a conscious effort to introduce reforms to mitigate these hurdles,” Jagan pointed out.

He said for building infrastructure, even the State government undertakings avail loans from financial institutions like PFC and REC at a higher rate of interest of 10 to 11 per cent per annum. If this is the difficulty faced by PSUs, one can imagine the plight of the private sector.

The Chief Minister asserted that despite his government’s commitment to provide a business-friendly environment, industrialisation is yet to gain required growth momentum in the State.

“This is due to several constraints, resulting in from the unjust and inequitable bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh,’’ he said, and added that according Special Category Status is the only solution.