Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said that faster economic growth with strong focus on inclusiveness is the fundamental tenet of the State government and its focus would continue to be on reaching out benefits to hitherto neglected and deprived sections of the society.
Addressing the joint session of the Telangana Legislature on Monday, the Governor said that the government’s efforts paid dividends in bridging the critical development deficit faced by the State over decades and enabled it to race ahead of other States. The initiatives have had significant positive impact in fulfilling the aspirations of the people and the youngest State has become role model for the entire country.
In his speech, amidst slogan shouting by the Congress members, the Governor outlined the government’s priority areas like irrigation projects, improvement in power situation, enactment of laws for providing special development fund for SCs and STs in addition to rejuvenation and restoration of tanks through Mission Kakatiya.
The Congress members who were on their feet from the start of the Governor’s address tore his speech copies and hurled the papers on to the podium. The party’s legislator had also uprooted one of the headphones and threw it to the podium injuring Legislative Council chairman K. Swamy Goud on his right eye. Mr. Goud was rushed to the hospital after the Governor concluded his address where he is undergoing treatment.
The Governor said the pro-active policies ensured that the State’s economy made a turn around and entered a higher growth trajectory. The State’s GSDP was at 4% as against the 5.9% national average at the time of its formation. The situation reversed with Telangana clocking an average annual growth of 8.6%, much higher than the national average of 7.5% in the last three years. The per capita income during 2016-17 rose to ₹1.54 lakh as against the national average of ₹1.03 lakh.
Highest priority was accorded to agriculture sector which was reeling under severe distress at the time of formation of the State. The government waived farm loans of ₹1 lakh, benefitting 35.3 lakh farmers. With initiatives like mechanisation, there is significant impact on the farmers’ incomes and the State registered a record food grain production of 101.29 lakh tonnes during 2016-17. With focus on fast tracking various irrigation projects, the government could create new irrigation facilities to 16.64 lakh acres in addition to stabilising ayacut of 8.97 lakh acres.
24/7 free power supply
This was followed by the one of its kind initiative of providing 24-hour free power supply to farm sector since January 1 this year. “There was crisis like situation in power sector with two-day power holiday to industrial sector. The situation has transformed with zero power cuts to all sections,” he said. The policies initiated by the government to harness solar power won accolades from across the country besides ensuring that the State had highest installed capacity of 3,283 MW.
Another major initiative was the land record updation programme which saw verification of 96% of land records khata-wise and were declared clear of any disputes. Efforts are underway to provide new pattadar passbooks soon.
In addition to welfare programmes like distribution of sheep to augment incomes of those dependent on non-farm activities, the government focussed on enhancing road connectivity as well as ensuring safe drinking water to every household through Mission Bhagiratha, the Governor said.
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