By Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
No development is going on in Andhra Pradesh. The real estate business is in limbo. This is what the opposition Telugu Desam or their media is trying to portray about the state. It's not surprising that their campaign will continue as long as they believe it to be true. The latest figures show that the situation in the state is not as pathetic as they claim, at least there is some progress. In the previous financial year, the growth in the real estate business resulted in an additional revenue of Rs 1,027 crores to the government.
This revenue generation is higher than the previous year outcome. Statistics also show that there has been considerable progress in various sectors. The revenue from the AP Registration & Stamps Department was Rs 7,327 crore in 2021-22. In addition to this, Rajat Bhargava, Special Chief Secretary to the state government, said that approximately seven lakh more registrations have also been done. Can this be called development or not?
The state of Andhra Pradesh is not comparable with the city of Hyderabad. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has a population of more than one crore people. In addition to this, it has several acres of uncultivated lands lying unused in the region. The lands of the Nizam's period and the government-owned lands are huge. All these resources have become a good source of revenue for the Telangana government and also there is no hindrance from the courts here if the government decides to sell these lands.
Whenever there is a proposal to sell or mortgage any government land in the state, it’s common for someone from the TDP to challenge the decision in the court and obtain a stay order. Despite odds, the ruling YSRCP government is trying to develop Visakhapatnam on par with Hyderabad. The government also has plans to make this city an executive capital of the state.
The then government had confined the real estate growth to only in twenty-nine villages of Amaravati. The past government registered the lands worth crores of rupees at a very low value. Moreover, income tax concessions were also collected. It is not surprising if someone said the former TDP encouraged the use of black money to buy these lands. In Spite of loss of revenue, the government had to spend lakhs of crores of rupees to provide facilities there
Interestingly, the state government has notified these places as green zones which prohibits the sale of lands in Guntur and Krishna districts barring the capital villages. As a result, real estate businesses in these districts have come to a standstill.
The TDP inclined media does not even discuss the issue. Nonetheless, the slow growth rate paved the way for TDP’s defeat in both the districts. If we analyse the other factors, AP has been ranked third in GST collections. In terms of GST collections, Odisha sits at the top while Maharashtra comes second followed by Andhra Pradesh. According to the central government figures, the state witnessed a 18 per cent growth last year.
Whether or not this is taken as an indicator of progress, we leave this to the best judgement of political analysts. The GST collections have increased from Rs 2,685 crore to Rs 3174 crore in the state. In the services sector too, growth has increased from 4.84 per cent to 9.73 per cent.
In the industrial sector, the previous TDP government achieved a growth of 3.17 per cent while under YS Jagan's government, the sector grew by a record 12.78 per cent. In the services sector too, growth has increased from 4.84 per cent to 9.73 per cent. Based on fixed prices, AP's gross domestic product i.e. GSDP stands at 11.48 per cent.
The country's growth rate is only 8.9 per cent. Isn't it great that AP is number one in inclusive development? The state was ranked tenth in 2018 during Chandrababu's term. Under YS Jagan’s rule, the AP state is at the forefront of telemedicine and vaccination drives and the government also took several measures to contain the spread of infection during the second wave of Covid-19.
These will be metrics to show that any state is on the path of progress. In the past too, on some occasions the state government used to say that it had achieved a lot. But at that time the actual situation was not supported by the stats. But now there does not seem to be much difference.
One reason for the steady growth appears to be the success of this government in providing benefits to the beneficiaries. This does not mean we should be complacent. With the state government decentralising the new districts, economic activities are likely to pick up in these places further. It is also important for the government to provide a sense to all sections of the society that both the welfare programmes and economic development programmes are going hand in hand.