Andhra Pradesh minister allays industry's fears

Hyderabad, Aug 12 (IANS) Allaying industry apprehensions over the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, a state minister said Monday that both Andhra and Telangana would continue the industry-friendly policy and honour their commitments.

Major Industries Minister J. Geeta Reddy held a meeting with representatives of various industry bodies to assure that the investments made in both Telangana and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions) were safe and both the Andhra Pradesh and the proposed Telangana state would honour the memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed with them.

She promised protection to the industry, irrespective of the region they came from.

Geeta Reddy, who hails from the Telangana region, told reporters that since the Congress would be in power in both the states and since it was also ruling at the centre, there would be no deviation from the current industrial policy.

Some industrialists at the meeting voiced their apprehensions, especially with regard the future of the projects coming up in different regions and also sought an early end to the ambiguity over the status of Hyderabad.

The minister told the industry leaders that they would be free to continue operating out of Hyderabad irrespective of the region they come from.

"There will be no forced relocation, either of your facilities or your employees. Growth in and around Hyderabad should not stop and we will work with industry leaders and investors to ensure a higher trajectory of economic development," she said.

As most of the bulk drug manufacturing firms are located in and around Hyderabad and Telangana lacks any port, the minister said a terminal would be built to facilitate their exports.

Admitting that there was electricity shortage in Telangana, Geeta Reddy said the issue could be handled with additional allocation of electricity by the central government.

She hoped that an the experts committee proposed to be constituted by the central government to address various issues, would give the clarity.

Confident that the process of bifurcation will be completed in four to five months, Geeta Reddy said the current situation would have no impact on the new investments.

"The allocation of assets between the two states will be done according to well-established norms and will take into account all local requirements," she said.

Representatives from the Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry attended the meeting.

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