Challenges & Opportunities of Bangaru Telangana – G Rajendra Kumar నవంబర్ 28, 2015Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in ecology, Economy, Hyderabad, landuse, livelihoods, Polavaram, Telangana.
Challenges & Opportunities of Bangaru Telangana
– G Rajendra Kumar
The Hans India, November 27, 2015
The Socio Economic Outlook of Telangana reveals the numerous challenges, dynamic environment and enormous opportunities to make the Telangana state the icon of development given the leadership with foresight, fortitude and determination.
The way forward for reinventing Telangana rests on fully harnessing the natural and human resources, setting right the imbalances and incongruencies that crept into the mainstream development processes so far. This chapter is an effort to focus on such challenges, opportunities and unfold the strategies sector-wise as part of the roadmap ahead, taking into consideration the recommendations of various Task Forces setup by the Government.
Telangana State, despite achieving a reasonably impressive performance in the recent past in terms of various macro-economic indicators, still has certain weak links, especially in the performance of social indicators. Bridging of these gaps is necessary for building a robust framework of policies for improving human development indices. This calls for a convergent and cohesive action from different related corners and making best use of the competitive advantages such as the demographic dividend.
The State’s geographical area of 1,14,840 sq.km holds a population of 351.49 lakhs (2011 Census). GSDP of the State is Rs 3,78,963 crores and Per capita Income is Rs 93,151 at current prices (2013-14). The share of Agriculture Sector in the GSDP at current prices (2013-14) is 17%, Industry 27% and Service sector 56%.
During the decade 2004-05 to 2013-14, the state registered an average growth rate 9.8% per annum as against the national average of 7.6%. Agricultural sector grew at 7.2% compared to the national average of 3.9%, while industry grew at 9.4% against the national average of 6.9%. In case of service sector also, the state averaged a higher growth rate of 10.9% than the national average of 9.1% during this period.
While the growth in terms of GSDP has reached its peak in 2009-10, its fall to 4.5% in 2012-13 with just over a percent rise in the following year calls for concerted action on several fronts. Revival of the growth particularly in the manufacturing sector and making it inclusive is the major challenge. Some of the other key challenges that the State has to address with urgency are:
Erratic monsoon, untimely availability of inputs and credit, low productivity, depleting ground water, inadequate extension and poor irrigation, are the biggest challenges that the State confront.
Declining public and private investment in agriculture, high employment intensity of the farm sector even against its diminishing share in GSDP; fluctuating agricultural growth; and increased uncertainty and fluctuations in prices of agricultural commodities are the concerns; Heavy dependence on the declining minor irrigation resources; depleting ground water resources; increased dependence on tube wells/dug wells (private irrigation system) even in the areas (districts) that receive low rainfall; neglecting link-tank irrigation system; provision of poor quality of power for pumping water for irrigation; restricting the provision of public canal irrigation system (more subsidized) to a few areas of the region;
Lack of proper post-harvesting technologies and institutional set up in place for the marginal and small farmers to increase their income through value addition (grading, labeling, packing, storing, and market linkages);
Inappropriate policies to provide support to the marginal and small farmers who have strong aspirations for upward mobility, are the other concerns in the farm sector;
Endemic power shortage owing to poor supply base in the backdrop of a rising demand, incomplete large irrigation projects requiring huge resources and intense monitoring;
Milk production at 234gms a day per cattle against the national average of 263gms a day, and other such productivity gaps of improved varieties of milch animals in animal husbandry sector;
Degraded forests hurting the rich forest cover, erosion and cultural wastes and a few ecological imbalances;
Concentration of industrial development and services sector in and around Hyderabad and Rangareddy requiring wide dispersal into the other districts for ensuring balanced regional development.
Stagnation in manufacturing sector
Investment in economic and social infrastructure in the rural hinterland of the State to ensure balanced regional development, improving the human development indices with better education, health care and assured safe drinking water to all;
Improving literacy and stable IMR and MMR, and correcting the serious distortions that took place in the past in the dispensation of social benefits;
The revenue potential of Telangana is also quite limited as majority of the districts remaining econom- ically backward coupled with the likely erosion of tax base in the short to medium term;
The weaker sections of the society that include OBCs constitute nearly 85% of the population; Scheduled Castes in the State constitute 15.4% of the population. Scheduled Tribes constitute 9.3% of the population as per 2011 Census. This is significantly higher than the proportionate tribal population in the combined State of Andhra Pradesh at 6.6%.In addition, minorities constitute another 11% as per 2001 Census.
From the beginning of this century, urban areas of Telangana have been witnessing high growth with people living in urban areas touching 39% of the total population by 2011. There are 6 municipal corporations, 67 urban local bodies, 37 municipalities and 24 Nagarpanchayats in the State as of now Urban development is constrained by in-migration, settlements in slums and their continuous growth, pressure on urban amenities, solid and electronic waste accumulation, pollution, and increasing disparities in living conditions. Challenge, therefore, rests in arresting such disparities.
Availability of sanitation facility is no longer a symbol of economic status but is an essential facility for health besides ensuring privacy, safety and human dignity. About 53 percent of the households in the State had toilet facility within the household in 2011. The more challenging issue before the State is extending sanitation cover and its effective use by the community.
The major challenge for the Government of Telangana, in the light of the foregoing, is to reformulate the policies and programmes of the undivided State to suit the economy, society and polity of Telangana so as to realize faster, inclusive and sustainable growth. The development agenda of the Telangana State should take into cognizance the present socio-economic structures the aspiration of different sections of the population of Telangana and to calibrate the existing policies, accordingly.
The multi-cultural, cosmopolitan Hyderabad city accounts for about 30 percent of the state population but contributes bulk of the State revenue. The City is already on the global investors’ list of most attractive destinations. The Outer Ring Road (ORR), Shamshabad International Airport, the export-oriented software industry, pharma, biotech, precision tool industries with nearly 70 percent of the micro, small and medium enterprises, some of them anchored by large enterprises in the public sector are the opportunities waiting to be tapped.
The State’s endowments in various types of soils and climates carry with it a good prospect of emerging as a Seed Bowl of the country given appropriate support and capacity building efforts.
The rich flora and fauna and the research capabilities of the Agricultural and Horticultural Universities and several supporting re- search institutions like the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Central Research Institute for Dry land Agriculture (CRIDA), have the potential to correct the extension and tech- nology inadequacies to make agriculture as the engine of growth. By suitably harnessing crop technologies opportunities exist for reducing the yield gaps in crops like jowar, maize, red gram, black gram, bengal gram, cotton, turmeric in Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Rangareddy, and Medak. Nizamabad has advantage in paddy, red gram crops; Khammam has advantage in maize; and Warangal in cotton.
Meat production needs to be sustained while egg production needs to revive back to 2008-09 level. Poultry would be accorded the industry status with appropriate incentives to take it to the prime driver of exports in animal husbandry sector. There is a high potential for investment in inland fisheries in the State, as there is productivity gap in tank and reservoir fishery. There is also a need to realize the high growth potential of aquaculture sector while giving priorities to welfare programmes for those involved in reservoir and back- water fisheries.
On the Industries front, while the existing industrially advanced districts offer further scope for large and medium enterprises and greater Foreign Direct Investments to flow in, rest of the seven districts have high potential for food processing, forest-based products and mineral-based Industries particularly in the employment oriented MSME sector.