Telangana's industry-friendly tag a total hogwash
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Hyderabad: Contrary to the industry-friendly image, the state government cleared incentives of only Rs 12 crore this year so far against the budgetary provision of Rs 2,500 crore.
With three months to go for end of financial year and the state facing fund crunch, the agony of industrialists, particularly of those in the MSME sector, will continue for one more year. While arrears had increased since 2015, some did not even get after the bifurcation of the the state a year before.
Official sources told this correspondent that total arrears to be cleared by the government is about Rs 3,500 crore. To project a rosy picture and also due to pressure from the sector, the industries department issued a Budget Release Order for Rs 1,250 crore but released only one per cent of it. "The industrial sector suffered a lot during Covid-19 and particularly the MSMEs have been struggling to recover. Industrial incentives at this stage are very crucial but government’s priorities are different," a senior official pointed out.
The state government as part of industrial promotion policy gives various incentives including 10 per cent subsidy on power bill, 25 per cent exemption on stamp duty, sales tax and reimbursement of nine per cent interest (popularly known as pavala vaddi scheme) on industrial loans.
Sources said even the allocations made under the sub-plan for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes besides differently-abled sections did not materialise. Arrears to be paid to SC entrepreneurs mounted to Rs 570 crore and that of STs Rs 735 crore. Incentives of Rs 70 crore for schemes sanctioned in differently-abled category also remained unpaid till date.
"Power subsidy amount to my unit was last paid in 2014. The Discom levies penalty if we do not pay the electricity bill in time but the government avoids reimbursement of 10 per cent of what we paid for years," lamented one entrepreneur.
"The government makes tall claims about creating the most industrial-friendly environment and invites new investments, but the existing units have been suffering due to government’s neglect," he said adding that several units were closed down in the last few years.