Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday reiterated the demand for grant of Special Category Status, for the State which was assured during the State’s bifurcation.

During interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sixth meeting of the Governing Council meeting of Niti Aayog, he said, “the bifurcation resulted in my State being deprived of tier I city, infrastructure, employment opportunities and financial resources. The rapid industrialisation of my State is possible if only “Special Category Status” is accorded.”

“This was a commitment made on the floor of the Parliament and was a pre-condition to the bifurcation,” he said.

Industrialisation yet to gain momentum

Despite my State’s commitment to providing a business-friendly environment, the industrialisation is yet to gain the required growth momentum. This is due to several constraints resulting from the unjust and inequitable bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh.

“In my opinion, the five significant impediments to the manufacturing sector growth are 1) Exorbitant cost of funds available from our financial institutions, 2) High cost of power, 3) Delays associated with land procurement, 4) Delay and complexity in the grant of statutory clearances and 5) Rigid labour laws. With respect to each of these hurdles, the State Governments and the Union Government must take a deeper drive to understand the root cause and make a conscious effort to introduce reforms to mitigate these hurdles,” he said.

Mitigating farmer’s difficulties

Referring to agriculture, he said, farming employs nearly 62 per cent of the state’s population. The aim of policy formulation for agriculture and allied sectors should be to mitigate the farmer’s risks and difficulties.

He said, “We have established 10,731 Rythu Bharosa Kendralu at villages to provide a comprehensive solution to all the agricultural needs that range from providing quality certified key farm inputs to enabling the sale of end produce.”

Reverse pumping technology

“My Government has recently floated a tender for a 10,000 MW solar power project development. The tariff discovered is ₹2.48 per unit for 30 years. Given our irradiation levels, this is significantly lower than the State’s average power purchase cost of ₹5.2 per unit. Reverse pumping technology, which is nothing but a natural energy storage facility, supports mitigating the intermittency associated with renewable energy. Andhra Pradesh has an identified potential of 33,000 MW in this area,” he said.

“I urge the Union Government to come up with a national policy to encourage usage of reverse pumping technology, given the increase in the share of renewable energy in total energy generation. Further, I request the Government to facilitate the power utilities in the State to swap high-cost debt with low-cost long debt as this is the need of the hour for sustainability and survival of the sector,” he said.

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