Global Investment Summit: Investors mean a lot to us and we already have their trust, says Andhra CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

According to Reddy. the state is uniquely positioned for “port-led development” and would fast become an export gateway, much to the benefit of not only its own economy but also the land-locked states.

CM YS Jagan
Andhra Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023 Logo ( Image Source Twitter@gudivadaamar )

“We will tell the Indian and global business communities and corporate leaders in no ambiguous terms that they really mean something to us,” Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Wednesday, ahead of the Global Investment Summit (GIS) being held on March 3-4 in Visakhapatnam. The state would have the abundance of its natural resources, a 974-km-long coastline, multiple geographical advantages and extremely proactive governance to offer.

Andhra Pradesh, which retained the top rank on the national ease of doing business survey for the last three years, is also complementing its growth strategy with a well-thought-out development paradigm, which is aimed at transformational change in social infrastructure primarily heath and education, Reddy told FE in an exclusive interview.

At 11.4%, Andhra Pradesh’s economy grew at the fastest pace among Indian states in 2021-22 and would register gross state domestic product (GSDP) expansion higher than the national average in the current fiscal also, he said. “The outreach is meant to reinforce the trust we have already built among the top industrial houses in the country and make them partners in the state’s accelerated growth in the coming years too. Many foreign investors are already here and we are confident the FDI flows will multiply,” the chief minister said. “The ease of doing surveys being based on opinion and feedback from businesses showed the state government’s credibility and willingness to walk the talk.”

According to Reddy. the state is uniquely positioned for “port-led development” and would fast become an export gateway, much to the benefit of not only its own economy but also the land-locked states. It already has six sea ports and four more including three in the government sector are being developed. With its clear advantages like high wind speed, plentiful Sun and immense water resources, its renewable energy advantage would grow further, allowing it to be “a net exporter of energy” to the rest of the world, he said.”We will have the early mover advantage in Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia.”

Reddy also pointed out that his state is part of three of the eleven industrial corridors being built in the country– Hyderabad-Bangalore, Visakhapatnam-Chennai, and Chennai-Bangalore.

The chief minister said: “If the likes of Ambanis, Birlas, Bangars and Bhajankars are investing in the state now, they must have figured out that it is well-poised for increased economic activities in various areas.”

Health, education and agriculture are the three sectors that have received a lot of attention from his government, he said, and listed out the steps taken by his government to boost public heath and education infrastructure. “Most schools will have digitised classrooms by June. As many as 48,000 new jobs have been created in hospitals; if 61% of India’s government hospitals have specialist doctors’ posts vacant, in our state, only 0.5% of hospitals lack specialists.”

Reddy also sought to counter the notion that farming is not a viable income-generating activity and the governments must invariably steer the structural shift of the economy from primary to secondary and tertiary sectors. “After the bifurcation of the undivided Andhra Praghesh in 2014, we have had the disadvantage of not having a Tier-1 city (Hyderabad went to Telangana). One would not have expected in the first place to make Visakhapatnam a services hub overnight. About 62% of the state’s population is dependent on farming and nearly 40% of the GSDP comes from agriculture and allied activities, much higher than the national rate. Agriculture needs to be sustained in a state like ours. After all, everyone cannot be just consumers, we need producers (of crops) too,” Reddy said.

He cited the state’s policies like additional income support to farmers (`13,500 is transferred to farmers, `7,500 from the State Budget and `6,000 under the national PM Kisan scheme), free crop insurance (the Centre’s Fasal Bima scheme has been buttressed with generous state component) and assorted farm input subsidies. “All these, he said, ensure that 80% of the production cost of crops are taken care of,” he said. Also, state interventions ensure that farmers do fetch the minimum support prices. “The Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) are at the service of farmers, all transfers are via the DBT (direct benefit transfer)… techniques like geo-tagging and e-cropping are widely used.”

To make farming self-sustainable, the average land holding must increase (67% of Andhra farmers have holdings less than a hectare), he said and added that his government would encourage corporate farming too, so far as farmers’ interests were taken care of.

When asked about the state’s relatively high dependence on central transfers, rather than “own tax revenues,” he said as the state’s economy grows, revenues would also get generated. It may be recalled that before Reddy assumed the office, there was a demand for a development package for the state with a “special category” tag, citing the Raghuram Rajan Committee’s recommendations. The panel, which identified states “that are far below the national average in terms of various development indicators and suggested ways to lift them above the threshold,” had put the undivided Andhra Pradesh in the median category of “less developed states.”

Officials said the GIS, with the tagline “Advantage Andhra Pradesh – Where Abundance meets Prosperity” will showcase 13 sectors for investment opportunities, including aerospace electric vehicles, renewable energy, healthcare & medical equipment, pharmaceuticals & life sciences, electronics & IT and higher education.

Corporate executives and government officials from as many as 40 countries are expected to participate in the summit, which is expected to generate investment commitments of well over `1 trillion.

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First published on: 02-03-2023 at 05:20 IST
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