Telangana Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday, 2 February, said that if the nation performs as well as Telangana on the economic front and if it has a leader like Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at the helm, it may not be difficult for it to grow into a $15 trillion economy.
Reeling off statistics on the rapid growth Telangana had witnessed after its formation in 2014, he said that Telangana is ahead of others on all parameters.
“In eight years, the per capita income, the metric that indicates the prosperity level, has gone up to ₹2.78 lakh as against ₹1.2 lakh in 2014. We have even surpassed the national average of ₹1.49 lakh,” he said.
Speaking at the NHRD Network (NHRDN)’s 25th national conference at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) on ‘Decoding the Economic Future: Hyderabad as Catalyst for 5T economy’, he took a dig at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
He said that in the Budget that she presented in Parliament on Wednesday, there seemed to be no allocations for development, which raised doubt over whether governments always work for elections and or for the growth of the economy.
He said the malady that is afflicting the country is that the focus is always more on politics rather than development.
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‘Rulers are always in poll mode’
KTR said it was unfortunate that rulers are always in poll mode and do not have time or inclination to look at what should be done to tone up the economy or find solutions to the ills that are plaguing it.
Though India is not inferior to any of the fast-developing nations, it remains backwards because the focus on development is missing.
Arguing that a country’s assets are people and natural resources, KTR said that India which has become the most populous country after China only a week ago and could have done much better.
Minister @KTRBRS speaking at @NHRDN's 25th National Conference at HICC https://t.co/u91uDew9pG
— Minister for IT, Industries, MA & UD, Telangana (@MinisterKTR) February 2, 2023
“Exactly 35 years ago, China and India were at the same place in respect of GDP and per capita income. Now China’s economy is US $18 trillion while ours is just US $3.4 trillion. China’s per capita income is $30,000 while ours is $2,400. It was because China put its natural resources to good use while we did not,” he said.
He said India abounds in natural resources and human capital. Sixty percent of the Indian population are youth which means we are the youngest country in the world.
‘Youth should grow to create jobs’
This capital should be nurtured to propel the country forward but the youth have no direction, he added.
“When I interacted recently with students of educational institutions, a majority of them told me that they wanted to get a good job after education. Then I told them to grow to the level of creating jobs. They should aim high. But, what we are doing is producing worker bees,” he said.
He also explained how Japan rose from the ashes after it came under nuclear attack by the US in the second World War and grew very fast to become the third largest economy in the world with just 12.5 crore people.
“The other disadvantage it has was that 75 percent of its land is inhospitable, and it is surrounded by oceans, becoming a target for tsunamis and cyclones. But India which has 140 crore people, 40 crore acres of cultivable land and a population whose median age is 28, is yet to focus on economic growth,” said KTR.
Taking a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his stand against revdi (freebies) culture, he said as India is still a third-world country, hand-holding is required for the poorer sections of society.
If no one takes care of them, there would be civil strife in society, Rao said, “It is the bounden responsibility of the government to not only take care of the disadvantaged but also not overlook development.”