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YSR expects good returns from projects

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, JAN. 16. The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, has said the returns the State Government would be getting from its investment of Rs. 46,000 crores on irrigation projects in the coming years would be `substantial'.

They would meet both the principal and interest part of the loans, which would be taken for the purpose, Dr. Reddy said, addressing 35 executives from North America, Europe and Asia who turned up for the Global Leadership 2020 programme organised by Tuck School of Business, US, in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Sunday.

The Chief Minister said there was no way but to borrow for implementing the projects. The Government was in no position to raise funds from internal resources. But, the question was how prudently the amount would be spent for better returns.

The globalisation and liberalisation policies have helped the State Government gain access to borrowings at lower interest rates.

The average interest rate, which used to be 12 to 14 per cent earlier, has now come down to 6 to 7 per cent.

Dr. Reddy expressed confidence that the Government would be able to complete the projects within five years given the advances in construction methodologies.

When China could complete irrigation projects on the same scale as the State Government in 1980-90, he did not see why it could not be done here in half the period given the upgradation in technology.

IT connectivity

He promised IT connectivity to every village in two years. IT was the thrust area of the Government. It would focus on software exports and bring business to the State in this sector in a big way.

Poor literacy levels

The Government would also not ignore biotechnology, particularly in the context of developing the pharma industry. The State is the leader of the industry in the country.

Dr. Reddy termed the State `okay' in terms of development but it was least literate among southern States, though it was trying to catch up. Continuous drought and other problems in the last few years had rendered the State backward.

The State Government was doing its best to ensure that agriculture and irrigation sectors received top attention.

He said the Primary Health Centres in villages were being connected by IT so that the local doctors got expert advice from the State headquarters for treatment of patients.

The programme coordinator, Vijay Govindrajan, spoke.

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