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Govt-set task force to create Brand AP takes backseat

Amaravati: Having sought the counsel of several bigwigs of industry to “prepare a strategic roadmap” for the state and making them members of a Task Force two years ago, Andhra Pradesh government appears to have shown little interest to carry the mission forward.

Not even one meeting of the taskforce has happened since its formation, leaving some of its members quite unhappy, according to Industry department sources.

As part of its grandiose plan to create a ‘Brand Andhra Pradesh’, the Chandrababu Naidu government on August 25, 2014 constituted a 40-member high-level Task Force for Industry and Infrastructure, headed by the Chief Minister.

Its mandate was to “prepare a strategic roadmap and provide inputs for overall economic development” based on the identified vision for the new state.

Some of the 19 industry honchos forming part of the panel are: Azim Premji, Adi Godrej, K V Kamath, S Ramadorai, Sunil Kant Munjal, Chandrajit Banerjee and Venu Srinivasan.

The prime endeavour of the task force — among the “terms and conditions” set by the government — was to promote ‘Brand Andhra Pradesh’ by suggesting policy directions for the growth of all sectors of industries in the state, according to a Government Order issued on August 25, 2014.

It was supposed to suggest strategies and guidelines, in identified focus areas, for industrial investment promotion, development of green and friendly cities, agriculture and food processing sectors, infrastructure and logistics.

Also, it was mandated to suggest ways and provide policy directions for attracting investments to the state.

Set up for a three-year period, it was supposed to meet once in three months in the first year to discuss and suggest ways and means to make the state a globally- competitive investment destination in manufacturing, pharma and life sciences, agri-processing, knowledge-based industries, ports and logistics, petrochemicals and mineral processing.

It was also expected to suggest and facilitate projects in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode in the ‘sun rise state’.

Nothing of that happened in the last two-and-a-half years as the government did not take any follow up action, sources in the Industries Department said.

“Yes, the task force did not meet even once after it was constituted. We don’t know the reasons why it became dysfunctional,” the sources added. (PTI)

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