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Seven years on, Telangana counts its hits and misses

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on June 03, 2021

C M K Chandrashekar Rao pays tribute at Telangana Martyrs Memorial, in Hyderabad   -  PTI

Successes on power, agriculture front, says Govt; uneven development accuse critics

As Telangana completes seven years of statehood, it can boast of significant achievements on the water, agriculture and power supply fronts. On increased irrigation, the State’s crop coverage has gone up significantly, showing significant improvements in paddy and cotton output.

From a State where industries suffered from prolonged power cuts, it has enhanced its power resources.

Telangana’s GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) has more than doubled to ₹9.78-lakh crore in 2020-21 from ₹3.81-lakh crore in 2013-14. This is reflected in the per capita income too. The State’s per capita income has gone up twice to ₹2.27 lakh in 2020-21 from ₹1.03 lakh in 2014-15. Telangana’s IT exports surpassed ₹1.40-lakh crore in 2020-21 as against ₹60,000 crore in the first year after the State was carved out from Andhra Pradesh.

Also read: Telangana extends lockdown by 10 days

While these numbers look promising, observers say the distribution of wealth is uneven. They argue that only a handful of districts are dominating the economic activity, leaving majority districts with a lower gross district domestic product.

‘Strong foundation’

A jubilant Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chief K Chandrashekar Rao said that the State could excel in all the sectors within a short span of seven years. “With many battles, sacrifices, martyrdom, we have achieved the State. We laid strong foundations and achieved stability,” he said.

“We are in the process of fulfilling the promises made during the movement for statehood one by one.”

But critics and the opposition parties flay the government for its lopsided policies that resulted in uneven development. “Only three out of the 33 districts have reported higher per capita income than the State’s average. This reflects uneven distribution of income,” Kanneganti Ravi of Rythu Swarajya Vedika says.

The job guarantee scheme is not coming to the rescue of rural households. While it provided 42 days work in 2016-17, it was 38 days on an average in 2020-21, the RSV said in a detailed report on the State’s progress card.

The State’s experiment with regulated cropping system has also come in for sharp criticism. With 88 per cent of the land holdings under five acres, the State can’t ask its farmers to grow capital-intensive cotton. This, the RSV, argues would only add to their financial burden. Congress Legislature Party leader Bhatti Vikramarka has said the government failed in providing jobs. Commenting on the seven-year rule of Chandrashekar Rao, he said the Government failed in implementing the fee reimbursement programme.

“It failed in honouring the promises to provide double-bedroom houses to the poor and distribution of three acres to each of Dalit families,” he said.

With its revenues getting impacted by the Covid pandemic and overall decline in economy, the State is facing a daunting task – the youth are expecting job notifications, while the farmers are anticipating access to institutional credit and remunerative prices.

Published on June 02, 2021

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