With the double-digit growth in the first half of the current financial year, Andhra Pradesh is making big strides on the path of development despite the hurdles it faced in the wake of bifurcation, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said on Tuesday. Speaking at the 67th Republic Day celebrations here, he said the state achieved the growth rate of 11.77 percent in first half of 2015-16 as against the national average of 7.2 percent. “This is a remarkable achievement for a state whose prospects were far from bright just 19 months ago," he said at the main official celebration held at Indira Gandhi municipal stadium.
The governor said while agriculture and allied sectors registered a growth of 29.17 percent, the manufacturing and services sectors recorded 6.77 and 9.10 percent growth respectively. Stating that sustainable development and inclusive growth are the guiding principles of the government, he said “while sustainable development is our aim, we never lose focus on welfare of common man".
He claimed that both development goals as well as fruits of the welfare policies were being realized as planned. “While targeted double digit growth is becoming reality, the fruits of welfare schemes are reaching the needy," said Narasimhan. The governor said surpassing all expectations, the state succeeded in grabbing the eyeballs of the investors at the recent CII Partnership Summit in Visakhapatnam by attracting investment of Rs.4.70 lakh crore.
The governor called birth of new state capital Amaravati as dawn of a new era. It will be one of the best cities in 21st century. Within a short period, the state achieved second position in the World Bank ranking of states in the ease of doing business. Andhra Pradesh is aimed to become the number one state. He described infrastructure mission as a catalyst for development. It envisages excellent global and domestic connectivity through multi-model transportation to steer the economy in the right direction.
Under the infrastructure mission, the state will have Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor, Bengaluru-Chennai industrial corridor, two special investment regions, four major ports, four active airports, national highway 7, , several SEZs and industrial parks. The government is trying to make the state drought free by adopting a strategy which includes prioritizing irrigation projects, interlinking of rivers and large scale promotion of drip and sprinkler irrigation. He listed various steps being taken to give fillip to agriculture. The state is also ensuring seven hour free electricity to farmers.
Narasimhan said the government launched state enterprise architecture e-pragati which will change the way citizen services will be offered. Designed in collaboration with Wipro, it offers a bouquet of 600 services to people across the state. The first phase of e-pragati will be completed by October 2016 while the whole project will be completed by October 2017.
Andhra Pradesh is also set to become first state in the country to introduce overhead optic fibre cable network for cable television and internet connections. The state will have 23,000 cable networks. The grid is expected to be completed by June this year and provide facilities such as TV network, phone connection and unlimited bandwidth to all households at minimam charges.
As the state is vulnerable to tropical storms and related hazards, it signed a major agreement with the World Bank for Andhra Pradesh disaster recovery project. It is aimed at restoring, improving and enhancing the resilience of public services and livelihoods of communities affected by cyclone Hudhud. It will benefit 13 million people in four severely affected districts of Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Visakhapatanam and East Godavari districts.
Earlier, the governor unfurled the national flag and reviewed a colourful parade. Various departments highlighted their initiatives through tableaux. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, his cabinet colleagues, Chief Secretary I.Y.R. Ksirhna Rao, Director General of Police J.V. Ramudu and other top officials attended the celebrations.