Alleged corrupt practices during Congress rule destroyed Andhra Pradesh's brand image as an investment destination and led to a decline in its industrial growth by half a%, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said here tonight.
Releasing a white paper on industries, which is the third in the series of white papers on various sectors, he said that the industrial sector contributed 24.11% to AP's Gross Domestic Product until 2004 when the Telugu Desam Party was in power, but fell to 23.61% during the decade of Congress rule. Agriculture's share fell drastically from 25.96% in 2004 to 19.04% while the services sector's contribution increased from 49.92% to 57.34%.
"The quid pro quo system adopted by the then Y S Rajasekhara Reddy regime from 2004 to 2009 scared investors away from Andhra Pradesh. Major industries like Volkswagen, Royal Enfield, Tata Motors, Siemens and others which showed interest in setting their units in Andhra Pradesh, shifted to other states because of government corruption," he pointed out.
"By 2005, 9.72 lakh jobs were created in Andhra Pradesh compared to 8.87 lakh jobs in Gujarat, but by 2012, Gujarat overtook Andhra Pradesh creating 13.83 lakh jobs as against 13.62 lakh jobs in Andhra Pradesh. This clearly established that AP lost its competitive edge," Chandrababu said.
Referring to the CAG reports, he said that over 88,000 acres of land was illegally allotted in the name of industrial development. "The Congress government entered into quid pro quo deals and allotted lands to benefit only certain individuals. The CAG established that 88,492 acres of land was indiscriminately allotted to 1027 beneficiaries," he said.
"Brahmani Industries of former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhana Reddy was given 10,760 acres, while over 19,000 acres were allotted to Vanpic and 8,844 acres were allotted to a realtor in the name of Lepakshi Knowledge Hub.The realtor pledged half of the land and borrowed Rs 790 crore from banks to further his business activities," the Chief Minister said.
The CBI is currently probing all such land deals as part of corruption cases against YSR's son Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, he said.
The Congress government also helped some people to illegally exploit mineral wealth as part of the quid pro quo deals, he alleged.
"All this severely damaged Andhra Pradesh's brand image, while bifurcation of the state brought in new problems. Now, we have to lay fresh foundations for industrial and infrastructure growth," he said, adding that his government would soon come out with a new industrial and infrastructure policy. We will announce an industry friendly policy to spur growth and create jobs in various sectors. We will re-create the image of 'Brand Andhra Pradesh' with a focused approach," the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said.