BRS govt left behind Rs 3,736 cr industrial incentive arrears

Hyderabad: The previous BRS government which made tall claims on transforming Telangana as No.1 state in the country in the industrial sector with its TS-iPASS industrial policy, had left behind arrears amounting to Rs 3,736 crore for mega, medium and small scale industries by the time it demitted office in December 2023, the data obtained from the industries department showed.

The BRS government did not pay industrial incentives worth Rs 3,007 crore to medium and small scale industries and Rs 728 crore to mega industries. It allocated funds for industrial incentives in the Budget every year but did not release the amount.

Even the cheques that were issued for Rs 684 crore to companies towards incentives for previous financial year 2023-24 were lapsed as the industrialists could not claim the incentives due to non-availability of funds in the bank accounts of industries department.

Former chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and IT and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao used to make tall claims that only Telangana had the pathbreaking TS-iPASS online industrial policy which was superior to the industrial policies of not only states in the country but top countries in the world. They used to boast that with the TS-iPASS policy, industrial approvals and industrial incentives will be extended in a matter of days at a click of the button.

Industrialists and entrepreneurs who are running around the finance department and the industries department to claim arrears for the one year are dubbing the TS-iPASS industrial policy as a Timepass policy as they are just passing time to get industrial incentives.

The new Congress government, which assumed office in December 2023, is now clearing the dues left by the previous BRS government in phases.

The issue of industrial incentive arrears came to light when Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and industries minister D. Sridhar Babu held a meeting with industries department officials on Tuesday to discuss the plans to devise a new industrial policy for Telangana.

Officials brought to the notice of the Chief Minister that out of Rs 3,736.67 crore arrears left by the previous BRS government, Rs 2,037 crore pertained to industrialists belonging to general category.

Following the promises made by the BRS government that it will extend special incentives to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, several industrialists and entrepreneurs came forward to set up industries, units. The BRS government left arrears even to these sections. It owed arrears of Rs 662.40 crore to SCs and Rs 1,037.08 crore to STs.

Worse still is, the BRS government issued cheques worth Rs 684.04 crore to industrialists for the fiscal 2023-24, which were lapsed. Of this, cheques worth Rs 330.68 crore to general categories, Rs 272.5 crore to SCs and Rs 80.86 crore to STs, which were lapsed.

If lapsed cheques are excluded, then the BRS government has left total arrears of Rs 3,052.63 crore, which include Rs 1,706.43 crore of general categories, Rs 389.98 crore of SCs and Rs 956.22 crore of STs.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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