The prophets of doom have been proved wrong. The sceptics who made alarmist predictions that carving out a separate Telangana State would spell economic disaster will now have to eat their own words. The trailblazing growth figures of the country’s newest State should silence the critics. Apart from topping the charts in terms of ease of doing business and revenue generation, Telangana has posted an impressive investment growth rate of 68.6% in the last three years as against the national average of 20.8%. The outcome of the latest study by Assocham, indicating a robust growth in investments, reflects the commitment and pro-active policies of the government to usher in a new era of development. Since its formation in June 2014 after a prolonged struggle, Telangana has been witnessing a steady upward shift in the growth trajectory year-on-year. The GSDP growth rate shot up from 5.6% in 2013-14 to 8.7% in 2014-15, 9.5% in 2015-16 and crossed the double-digit to touch 10.1% in 2016-17. This bears testimony to the success of a set of holistic policies aimed at creating a proper ecosystem to boost overall growth. Clearly, the new industrial policy, launched in June 2015, played a major role in achieving good industrial growth, which in turn boosted the GSDP. In the undivided Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana region grew at 2.7% in 2012-13, as against the national average of 5.5%, and it is only after bifurcation that it has seen a steady rise in growth.
The narrow, elitist and top-down approach to policy making has been replaced by a more mature, long-term vision to make a difference to people’s lives. Be it revival of rural economy, welfare of weaker sections, uplift of sections engaged in traditional occupations or boosting industrial growth, a clear-cut policy framework has led to hope and optimism replacing negativism of the past. As a result of pro-active policies, the State has attracted investments worth Rs 5.9 lakh crore as of March 2017, accounting for 3.3% share in the total investments worth Rs 177 lakh crore by the top industrial States across India. The Assocham study clearly points out that Telangana has been consistently outperforming the national average in terms of economic growth while agriculture recorded 15% annual growth in 2016-17. The irrigation sector, being a key focus area of the government, accounts for 28% of the total investments, followed by non-financial services (25%), electricity (18%) and manufacturing (11%). A positive spin-off can be expected in the days ahead since nearly 370 projects, involving investments worth Rs 4 lakh crore, are under different stages of implementation. Despite being a startup State, Telangana is in a position to give many established giants a run for their money.