Telangana government unveiled new policies, ensured continuity in operations; remain optimistic: Industries and IT Secretary
Telangana remained focussed on growth through industrial development in 2020 by facilitating operations at units allowed to function during the lockdown, hand-holding others when Unlock began while continuing to attract fresh investments.
A frontrunner with a progressive, pro-industry approach, the State unveiled a clutch of policies, including one to generate more employment opportunities for locals, and readied a few more. “Most dominant thing was the pandemic. People appreciated the way we responded to [needs of] industries and IT sector,” said Jayesh Ranjan, Industries and IT Secretary. Telangana example was cited at the national level, how it ensured the least amount or practically zero inconveniences during the lockdown to ensure the functioning of pharma and other industries permitted to operate as well as the switch to work from home in the IT sector. “All paperwork was liberalized, no one was required to run around,” he said, adding once lockdown restrictions were relaxed the focus shifted to ensuring the resumption of operations at other industries. Efforts were made to reach out to MSMEs and make them aware of how they can benefit from Atmanirbhar Bharat as well as schemes of the State government.
In partnership with companies, the State pushed for technology adoption by MSMEs. Enterprises, big or small, the “more digital tools they use, the better their recovery process will be. MSMEs in Telangana are still not completely integrated with the digital world. So we took special steps to convince all companies and brought a lot of digital tools,” he said. As a measure to help small IT firms hit by the pandemic, the government decided to give them work such as the development of portals and dashboards of its departments. Likewise, startups with products relevant to the government would be considered.
On policy initiatives, the senior official said during the year policies on electric vehicle and energy storage; the GRID policy to promote the growth of IT industry in rest of Hyderabad, especially eastern parts; and another to encourage local employment through additional incentives for investors were launched. For the IT industry, policies on Drones and Cloud Adoption were unveiled. Food Processing, Logistics, Grassroots Innovation, and Social Innovation policies are likely to be launched by this fiscal.
In terms of investments, Telangana received its largest FDI when cloud platform Amazon Web Services announced Hyderabad as its second AWS region in India, a decision involving the setting of data centers at an estimated investment of $2.77 billion (₹20,761 crores).
Other prominent investment commitments received during 2020 include those from automotive major Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on a $150 million global digital hub as well as from Medtronics, Goldman Sachs, drugmakers Granules, and Laurus Labs, EV makers and RE firms Mytrah, Electra, and Eto. “If you compare, the previous two years the numbers were much higher. This year was also good given the situation we were confronted with,” Mr. Ranjan said, pointing out that attracting marquee investments in the context of the overall economic downturn and the pandemic is satisfying.
While the pandemic could have brought everything to a standstill, it did not happen. “Some good investments came our way, we used the time to clear pending policies and ending the year on a very satisfied and optimistic note, he said.