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Andhra Making Rapid Strides

“Merchandise export has increased by 45.8 per cent in the last two years. The govt is focusing on export infrastructure, especially the delayed industrial corridors. Their speedy completion will be a priority," he said

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

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V. Vijayasai Reddy, MP representing the state of Andhra Pradesh, and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce speaks about the progress the state has made and future plans. Edited excerpts:

What has been your role as the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Commerce and what are some of the important agendas for this year? 

The parliamentary standing committee is meant to make recommendations to the government on important issues as per the guidelines that are selected by the majority of the members of the committee. While selecting the subject, the committee keeps in mind certain aspects — relevance of the subject, an ongoing issue, addressing a pressing issue, for example, there is a priority to increase the export and reduce imports so that foreign exchange balance is maintained.

How has the committee worked towards attracting investments into India post the pandemic? 

We understand the high cost of finance in India which our manufacturers and domestic traders are facing, the credit facilities that are being provided to entrepreneurs in India are not popular. We need to increase awareness regarding this issue. Another aspect is regulatory hurdles that are being faced by the Indian manufacturers, for instance, enforcement of contracts. The committee has recommended to simplify the litigation process. 

It has discussed and recommended to the government to introduce the National Logistics Policy which will cater to the Indian manufacturers. We recommended to the government to introduce attractive SOPs for all the companies that have left China during the pandemic and are looking for new countries to invest in.  

There are several productivity-linked incentive schemes in various sectors that have come out. What are your thoughts on the actions taken by the government? 

The government has introduced production-linked incentive schemes across 14 sectors, with a total allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore. The schemes provide enhanced value addition in the manufacturing sector that attracts foreign investment. It creates both, direct and indirect employment of over 40 lakh jobs. This will help India in becoming an Atmanirbhar country and a global manufacturing hub. The potential challenges in the schemes are execution delays and delays in approval. The government on its part is attracting foreign investment by providing all infrastructural facilities that will help in the adoption of these schemes.

What can be done about infrastructure that facilitates trade and exports? 

The central government has done a good job with the implementation of the production-linked incentive schemes and easy credit for MSMEs through the emergency credit line guarantee scheme. India’s merchandise export has increased by 45.8 per cent in the last two years. The government is focusing on export infrastructure, especially the delayed industrial corridors are to be completed. So, their speedy completion will be a priority.  

What do you think about the Budget announcement, especially for the state of Andhra Pradesh? 

The people of Andhra Pradesh are disappointed with the Union Budget. The increase in government spending that the FM has been propagating, very little of it has been allocated to address the pressing issues of the nation. Secondly, Atmanirbharta of the states has been neglected. The central government has increased the cess and surcharges in its gross tax revenues. But cess and surcharge collection are not shared with the state governments. It is also very disappointing that there is no relief to the common man as far as tax benefits are concerned. 

In fact the cess on petrol and diesel is at an all-time high and proceeds are not shared with the states. All major subsidies for fertilisers and LPG have been reduced. This move is anti-poor and anti-farmer. On one hand, inflation is going up, while on the other hand the government is not considering the increase of the exemption limit. There are so many other issues which the reorganisation Act has stipulated that the government would implement, however nothing has been implemented.

How would you advise the Andhra Pradesh government to leverage the platforms that GoI has created? 

Andhra Pradesh is ranked No. 1 in ease of doing business. Business Reforms Plan 2019 contains 80 reforms, of which 187 action points are to be implemented by 19 state departments and Andhra Pradesh has achieved 100 per cent compliance in that. The state has made rapid strides in manufacturing, development of imports, multi-modal logistic parks, industrial corridors and fishing harbours. There is a lot of scope of development of infrastructural projects and the Andhra Pradesh government is envisaging and implementing them. 

In fact our late industry minister — Gautam Reddy, showcased Andhra Pradesh at the Dubai Expo and he facilitated the launch of a single-window system where all the permissions are granted for starting the industries and his efforts led to an investment of 5,150 crore to generate 3,440 direct employment and 7,800 indirect employment in the key sectors of EVs, FMCG, infrastructure, manufacturing logistics and smart city solutions. The government of Andhra Pradesh is responsive and it cooperates with entrepreneurs in acquiring the land and making the logistics available with less regulatory compliances.

You’ve raised the right markers, both at the national level and as the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce and for the state itself. How do you see this journey? 

The road till now has not been easy, I have faced many hurdles, many politically motivated cases, reaching here at this point is not important. What we do after we reach here is important. And I have raised so many problems that are being faced by the people of Andhra Pradesh and problems of the country at large. My humble message to the new generation is to adopt a quote of Swami Vivekananda — “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”. 


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V. Vijayasai Reddy mp Magazine 23 April 2022