Port development to propel Andhra’s growth: Chandrababu Naidu

Visakhapatnam, Jan 11 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh will have port-led development with focus on export manufacturing, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said on Monday.

If information technology and knowledge economy was his mantra for development of Hyderabad as the then chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, this time coastal development tops his agenda, he said.

Unveiling his vision before the investors and captains of industry at CII Partnership Summit here, he vowed to make sunrise Andhra Pradesh the most preferred destination for investments.

The 974-km-long coastal belt and a central location on east coast is the state’s biggest advantage.

Stating that the ports of Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam are doing very well, Naidu said during the current financial year the state will become number two to Gujarat in handling cargo.

Though Gujarat is far ahead, he is keen to compete with the state on west coast. “Our prime minister says Look East. India has to Look East only through Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

In his keynote address at the plenary on ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh: Turning Aspirations into Reality- Vision 2029,’ the chief minister said with his out of box thinking and turning a crisis into an opportunity, he plans to make the state one among the top three states by 2022 and number one state by 2029.

He told the gathering that the state achieved a growth rate of 11.8 percent in the first half of the current financial year against national average of 7.4 percent. “Once we begin the economic activities, I am confident we will achieve 14-15 percent growth,” he said.

The economic development board for fast-paced development of the state will become operational soon.

Naidu told investors that upcoming state capital Amaravati offer them huge opportunities. “We are creating a beautiful city. It will be one of the best cities in India and one among the top 10 in the world,” he said.

He announced that under Fibre Grid, unlimited bandwidth to all households will be ensured by June at minimal charges of Rs.150 per month.

Naidu, who was chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh between 1995 and 2004, admitted that he committed some mistakes by not balancing welfare with development which led to his defeat in elections.

Listing out the welfare measures undertaken by his government, he remarked: “While sustainable growth is our goal, we cannot lose focus of the welfare of the poor.”

Stating that trickledown effect is not automatic, Naidu said the policy makers must eye on inclusive growth rate.

“It is a general notion that after development, there is an obvious trickledown effect. If development takes place, the fruits of benefits will reach the common man. But, it is partially true,” he said.

Stating that agriculture will be primary mission, he listed out the initiatives being taken to ensure in three to four years that the state doesn’t faces drought.

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