Seemandhra region may get fillip from division

The three-year wait for a decision on Telangana has had its impact on industrial investments in Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the capital Hyderabad. While investors are still wary about the bifurcation process and the potential regional shifts in business, it is the finality on the issue that they welcome.

Hyderabad, which will be the common capital of Telangana and the Andhra region, is at present the hub of economic activity accounting for 55% of the state's revenue and 65% of its revenue share from the Union government. Apprehensions include possible large-scale migration to the Andhra region and slower rate of fresh investments coming into Telangana.

"There is very little possibility of attracting new investments in Telangana as many investors doubt the effectiveness of future governance. The present position of industrial progress will become stagnated and limited only to three to four districts. Backwardness of agriculture, poverty, unemployment and poor infrastructure in some Telangana districts would result in large-scale migration and unrest in the near future," an official from an infrastructure company said.

The fact that the Andhra business community has an upper hand in terms of investments in the Telangana region is undisputable. "There has to be a level-playing field in the economics of bifurcation, which is essentially the business class from the Andhra region versus the entrepreneurs from Telangana," said senior leaders in the state.

In fact, the Seemandhra region, referring to the Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra region together, could actually gain from the division, and the business and construction activities associated with a new capital city could give its economy a fillip.

Telangana is the largest of the three regions in Andhra Pradesh and contributes more than 62% to the state's revenue including Hyderabad, and is home to 40% of its population. In comparison, Coastal Andhra accounts for 14% of the state's earnings and Rayalaseema brings in just 4%. "As far as business is concerned our investments are moving towards the world and not just within the state. Back home too, we have seven plants in Hyderabad, five in Vizag and one in Miryalguda. As long as the society is calm, it should not be a hindrance," Abhijeet Mukherjee, president, global generics, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, said.

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