The Andhra Pradesh government has set a target of an average annual growth rate of 8 to 9 per cent in the gross state domestic product (GSDP) and a sub-target of 4 per cent for agriculture and 10 per cent for industry and the service sector. The focus would also be on increasing the share of manufacturing in GSDP to 25 per cent in phases from the present 15 per cent, said Governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari.
In a joint address to the newly elected Assembly and Council members, he said it was time to revisit the cooperative movement to improve agricultural production and enhance the income of farmers. Two villages would be selected in every district for an integrated approach to farming as an experiment with support from the government and commercial banks.
The government has also proposed to issue biometric identity cards to all citizens in the state. It would work towards complete financial inclusion. The present government, which is elected for the second term, would pursue the same economic policies and strategies in the next five years, he said.
The state achieved an average annual growth rate of 9 per cent for the five-year period 2004-09. Agriculture and allied activities during the last five years achieved a 6.38 per cent growth, as compared with the national average of 4 per cent. The state has also done well in the industry sector achieving an average annual growth rate of 10.19 per cent for the last five years, as compared with the national average of 8.88 per cent. Revenues of the state grew 18 per cent per annum for five years without imposing any fresh taxes and raising power tariff.
The slowdown has impacted the flow of foreign capital into the country and as a result many infrastructure projects have been kept on a hold. However, the Andhra Pradesh government has increased its spending on infrastructure and irrigation projects and this has catalysed higher private investments in the state. Also, the favourbale debt service coverage ratio and the higher rating from credit rating agencies would enable Andhra Pradesh to raise higher borrowing for capital investment. Four independent credit rating agencies - Crisil, Icra, Care and Fitch have rated Andhra Pradesh as ‘A’ category, he informed.
The food production is likely to touch 20 million during this year. The governor noted that the demand for employment and labour has gone up due to various irrigation projects and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme being implemented in the state. Districts, which earlier were known for chronic labour migration, are now being forced to hire labour from other states.
The Jalayagnam scheme, which initially had a capital outlay of Rs 46,000 crore for 26 projects, has been enhanced to Rs 170,000 crore covering 81 projects to create an additional irrigation potential to 10.03 million acre in addition to stabilising 2.17 million acre.
Two major aluminum factories are coming up in north coastal districts and a major integrated steel plant with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonne is in advanced stage of completion in Kadapa. BHEL together with NTPC Limited is setting up a Rs 6,000-crore power plant equipment manufacturing facility in the state and all gas-based power projects have become operational after Reliance Industries started supplying gas from the KG Basin.
The governor also said the state would expedite the construction of Outer Ring Road, PV Narasimha Expressway, Hyderabad Metro Rail and other projects under the public-private partnership mode. He placed on record the role of Centre in handling the Satyam case.