Investors shy away as Ministers' promises remain empty

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Investors shy away as Ministers' promises remain empty
Investors shy away as Ministers' promises remain empty

To put it bluntly, Industries Minister J Geetha Reddy has almost been silent with hardly any word on attracting new investments or the setting up any industry.

Ms Geetha Reddy had entered her office with much fanfare amid chanting of mantras, Islamic scholars invoking blessings and a priest reading sermons for her 'Governance' and with tall promises to attract more industries in the state


On her first day, she told media persons as if to make her presence felt that a French industrialist would make inroads here for setting up a big unit. But so far this Minister had not spelt out anything so far in terms of any new unit coming up.

Perhaps Ms Geetha Reddy, whose name has been in the list of contenders for the Deputy Chief Minister’s chair, is relying on the fact that her coming from an SC family and with a MBBS certificate in hand will be successful in getting the coveted post.

The fact remains that she has not made any inroads to her stated promise of attracting investors to the state, despite having attended the NRIs' meet in New Delhi recently along with another Cabinet Minister Shankar Rao.

Probably no one ventured to go to a state where there is no assurance of tangible returns. Ponnala Laxmiah, Minister for Information Technology also has been making frantic efforts to step up investments in the IT sector but to no avail.

The extent of dwindling interest in investing in the state can be gauged by the fact that the real estate market is in a freefall.

Thanks to the 'uncertainty' factor which looms large in Andhra Pradesh, the businesses, including real estate business, have taken a beating since the Telangana agitation began.

With no takers and partly because of rise in registration charges during the Rosaiah government, the sale and purchase of flats had declined in Hyderabad and its periphery, which was once a hub of such activity.

The city, which was projected and has prided itself as a destination for all, is no longer seen as particularly attractive for real estate investors. Still the professional realtors present a bold picture as if to substantiate their losses suffered. Contrasted to a sq ft which was sold at around Rs 4,000 in the past, today the value of the same area has slumped to around Rs 2,000.

And those at the helm of affairs seem to have taken no cognisance of this as those invested in it bear the pinch quite silently trying to contain their agony.

The fall in this trade has been attributed to the students' unrest and struggle for a separate state for Telangana, which had the opposition parties' backing always.

That apart, the ineffective bureaucracy on one hand and the 'unstable' government on the other lend credence to the fact that the foreign investors are far from safety. Besides, most of the complexes which were full earlier, now present a gloomy picture even in prime locations.

Rentals at the prime hubs at one time were so high that they were out of bounds of most small scale businesses.  Now such is the position that the ‘to-let’ boards are seen outside many prime commercial spaces.

According to sources, a fear psychosis enveloped has the investors or settlers which arrested the growth.

Most of the youth on realtors' pay rolls made brisk business door to door earlier during the TDP regime. It is a thing of the past now as their bosses are sitting cross-legged with no handful of business. Global meltdown on one side forcing a liquidity crunch, lack of a strong government on the other, has seeming cast a spell on investments in AP.