CM explained the advantages of building new capital; he will shortly meet Singapore PM today to personally invite him for the Amaravati Foundation-laying ceremony. Overwhelming response to attend AP CM’s public lecture at ISAS.
On Day 2 of his Singapore visit, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu began his day with a private meeting with Minister S. Iswaran where they discussed about the new Capital Amaravati.
After a lunch meeting with Mr. Iswaran, Chief Minister took part in a public lecture at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) which was moderated by Ambassador Gopinath Pillai.
Delivering the welcome address, Mr. Pillai said that the overwhelming response at ISAS is a mark of Mr. Naidu’s popularity in Singapore. “He built the IT sector in Andhra Pradesh and is famously, know to be the brain behind Cyberabad. Now, he is building the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati,” he elaborated to the audience at ISAS.
Explaining the advantages of the new State of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Pillai said that the state has rich natural and human resources. “Next year ISAS will have a South Asia Diaspora Meet to which AP is an invite. One more state from India and another state from Pakistan will be the invitees,” he added.
Taking over the dais from Ambassador Pillai, the Chief Minister said that Andhra Pradesh is a new state which is just one year and three months old. Emphasizing the need to nurture the state carefully, he elaborated on developments during his previous stint.
Stating that India is moving in the right direction, the Chief Minister said that India, China and the US will be the leading economies in the world by 2050.
“We have a long sea coast. The advantage we have is that we are the only state with such a long coast on the East and hence, we aim to develop this as Logistics Hub of Southeast Asia. We are ranked second in cargo handling in the country and we will reach the top position,” he added.
The Chief Minister also informed the audience that the state government has recently linked the mighty Godavari and Krishna Rivers in the state, reiterating the fact that hard work and determination will pay off if leaders commit themselves to development.
Despite challenges, the Chief Minister said, the government sees capital building as one of the greatest advantages for the state. “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted our invitation to lay the foundation for Amaravati on October 22nd. I will be meeting Singapore Prime Minister tomorrow, to invite him for the historic occasion on October 22nd,” the Chief Minister added.
Recalling his first visit to Singapore last year, the Chief Minister said: “I first asked them to come up with a Master Plan for our Capital. They did. Now, I’m now asking Singapore to join us to build our capital. I’m hopeful they will come forward to do this as well,” he said, adding that Amaravati will not only serve as an administrative area but also model itself as a economy and knowledge driver.
“I’m also happy to inform you that our state has been ranked second in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ by World Bank., after Gujarat. I’m confident that we will rise to the top spot next year. We will be a distant number one.”
From tourism to logistics agriculture, infrastructure, industries and other sectors, the Chief Minister elaborated on the potential for investments in Andhra Pradesh. “We are aiming at Double-digital growth. I’m confident that AP will rise to become one of top most states in India. I invite each one of you to come to AP at least with one project. Come, experience AP and invest in our state,” he added.
The Chief Minister also explained about the initiatives of creating social capital through women Self-help Groups. “SHG women have emerged as a strong and independent force in the state. They are rural entrepreneurs who lead and inspire the community, are financial independent and eventually, empower the society. They make their own goods and sell them online.”
Meanwhile, an entrepreneur who has an industry in AP, said he suffered from lack of power for last five years. “After Chandrababu Naidu became the Chief Minister of new AP, within a few months, there were no power cuts,” he quipped, adding that he wanted to share his experience and show that in AP the government works.
To this, the Chief Minister replied saying: “We have given priority to power sector. Now, we our T & D losses stand at 10.4%. We will soon bring it down to to single digit.”
Following this, the Chief Minister answered questions from the audience as part of the Q&A session.
Q1) The first question from the audience was: “Do you think that the following democratic tradition will constrain the efforts for economic development ? What assurance can you give us that politics won’t trouble the new state efforts at development?
A1) Answering the question, the Chief Minister said that “it all depends on the quality of leadership. A motivating leadership and stable leadership can balance development. For example: The previous government at the Centre brought in the Land Acquisition Act. It made land acquisition impossible. But, to create a win-win situation for everyone in the state, I adopted the land pooling system where people responded to my call. We have procured 33,000 acres of land with land owners voluntarily giving their land, with the hope of getting better value for their land in future. Despite being a Democracy, we have complted such a massive task with people’s support.”
Q2) What will AP do to help start-ups?
A2) In my last stint as the Chief Minister, I had promoted a lot of entrepreneurs. Now, I want to start-ups and MSMEs. I want to make Andhra Pradesh the Silicon Valley of India. We already have established a Start-up Village in Visakhapatnam. We are also going to start the Innovation Fund. That apart, a venture capital fund and incubation centre are on cards.”
Q3) How are you balancing environmental concerns with fast clearances of projects? Can you do environmental impact assessments in such short time?
A3) “We will take all measures for environmental assessments and follow regulatons. Other routine clearances will be granted within 21 days. For a greener state, we will go in for massive plantation.”
Q4) Lot of students go abroad from India. Most from AP. What steps do you take to retain them in Andhra Pradesh? What steps do you take to encourage research in amaravati especially bioengineering?
A4) I want to make AP an education hub. In my previous stint, I have increased the number of engineering colleges from 30 to 300. We also brought a lot of focus on biotechnology.
Q5) What are you doing to get good universities to AP?
A5) I’m networking with many world-class universities. And, we are also inviting foreign faculty members to come as visiting professors to our colleges/universities.
Q6) What are your plans to improve quality of schools in AP? And also to improve the quality of teaching, vocational training?
A6) That (improving the quality of education) is the biggest challenge in India. We have to build skills, build capacities and inspire others by sharing experiences. That is how a culture of learning will seep in.
Source – AP CMO