National

Mixed bag for Telangana as it turns six

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on June 01, 2020 Published on June 01, 2020

It’s a mixed bag for Telangana as it completed six years of its formation on June 2. While it stares at empty coffers after the Covid-19 pandemic stalled all economic activity, the State has begun to reap the benefits of the ambitious irrigation projects.

It also marked completion of six years of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government at the helm.

From about ₹400 crore revenue a day in the pre-Covid-19 days, the revenues fell to ₹110 crore during the lockdown days as economic activity came to a halt.

Easing lockdown norms

Though commercial activity has been reopened in the last two weeks, the tempo is yet to gather pace. The State hopes that the situation will improve with further easing of lockdown norms, confining the restrictions only to the Covid Containment Zones.

The biggest takeaways are the mega Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, touted to be the world’s largest. It draws water from the Godavari river and pumps it to different projects in the State.

The results are already showing as the State clocked production of one crore tonnes of paddy. Backed by free, uninterrupted power supply, the farmers could irrigate more land. But the basic issues of marketing produce, institutional credit and post-harvest facilities continue to haunt farmers. Agricultural activists allege that the distress in the primary sector continues, forcing several farmers to take the extreme step.

Though the State made strides on the production side, it is yet to make an institutional arrangement to procure the produce at a remunerative price or to ensure the farmers don’t get a raw deal at the market yards.

With a view to regulating cropping pattern, the Chandrashekar Rao government decided to enforce fixed acreages for different crops.

The farmers are asked to grow cotton in 65-70 lakh acres (as against the normal 45-50 lakh acres) and rice in 40 lakh acres and red gram (kharif) and maize in Rabi in 10-15 lakh acres. The idea has elicited mixed views from farmers as the government has linked farmers’ compliance with the sanction of Rythu Bandhu assistance.

IT exports up

Among the industry verticals, the IT industry continues to be the best bet for Telangana. IT exports for 2019-20 breached the ₹1.29-lakh-crore, which is more than double that in 2013-14.

It grew 18 per cent more than last year’s export far exceeding the growth of national IT exports and added 40,000 jobs.

The sector, however, is expected to take a hit this year as the IT industry in the country is projected to witness the lowest growth rate in a decade due to the economic crisis that Covid-19 pandemic.

Scores of start-ups are shutting down operations, unable to take the hit. According to an estimation, one-third of startups are likely to close shop.

The State needs to offer special Covid-related sops to the IT industry, particularly to the small and medium enterprises and startups in order to help them tide over the crisis.

The ability of the industry to generate jobs will be impacted this year, posing a challenge for the fresh graduates that will join the race for jobs.

Published on June 01, 2020
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