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People of Telangana handed over rich state to previous govt, they made it debt-ridden: Guv

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Hyderabad, Feb 8 (PTI) The people of Telangana gave a rich state to the previous government, but it handed over a debt-ridden state to the present regime, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan said on Thursday.

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The governor, who addressed the joint session of the legislature on the opening day of the budget session, said the government is committed to restoring financial discipline and transparency.

The White Paper on Finance released during the last assembly session has "laid bare the incompetent and reckless manner" in which the previous government had managed public finance, she said.

"The people of Telangana had handed over a rich state to the previous government and after ten years, they have handed over a debt-ridden state to us," she said.

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Soundararajan said, in the recent assembly polls, people yearned for freedom, democracy and governance that reflected their aspirations.

The Congress government expressed gratitude to all parties, leaders who played a pivotal role in the creation of Telangana and acknowledges the efforts of the then UPA government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the creation of the state.

"This government conveys that it is indebted to Sonia Gandhi for her instrumental role in this historic process," she said.

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The governor announced that the state government would soon implement two more poll promises - supply of LPG cylinders to the poor for Rs 500 and 200 units of free electricity.

She said the promises made to people would be fulfilled and the government stands committed to the declarations made for farmers, youth, SC and ST, BC, and Minority communities.

The state government would soon introduce the internet as a basic right to make digital infrastructure accessible to all and this will also position Hyderabad and Telangana as the AI capital of the country, she added.

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The government will set up a dedicated AI City in 50-100 acres.

"One of the most significant forthcoming initiatives of this government would be to introduce the internet as a basic right," the governor said.

The focus will not just be to create digital infrastructure but also to make it accessible and affordable to all sections of society, she said.

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The government will implement a thorough digital literacy programme to ensure that every household, regardless of its economic status or location, will be able to benefit from the "rapid digital adoption of opportunities that are arising", she said.

Noting that the government is determined to harness the power of new technology, particularly AI, Soundararajan said the government will "position Hyderabad and Telangana as the AI capital of the country by inviting the top global and national technology companies to set up their AI Centres".

She also said the government intends to bring a completely new paradigm to supporting the two vital sectors--industries and services.

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Soundararajan said the government will announce a new policy for helping the MSMEs with improved technology, the ability to recruit skilled manpower, financing, market access, and the prevention of industrial sickness, she said.

An exclusive institutional mechanism will be set up to handhold MSMEs and support their grievances.

Soundararajan referred to government proposal to set up 10-12 Pharma village clusters of extents between 1000 and 3000 acres, which will be away from habitations and also self-contained with facilities for effluent treatment, testing labs, logistics infrastructure, and social infrastructure for housing, education and healthcare.

She also said the government is transforming all government ITIs in the state into Advanced Technology Centres, at an estimated project cost of about Rs 2000 crores to address skill gaps and meet the requirements of Industry 4.0.

In order to optimise the cost of power, meet the demand and increase the energy share from clean energy, the Telangana government will come up with a comprehensive “Energy Policy” to promote all types of green energy -- solar, wind, hybrid (solar and wind), as well as storage (pumped or battery) to meet peak requirement, she said.

The government would also come out with a comprehensive Tourism Policy for the promotion and preservation of architectural wonders, culinary delights, reservoirs, and temples, Soundararajan said.

The government is committed to establishing skill universities across the state in view of the need for a skilled and empowered workforce, she said.

Acknowledging the importance of sports in fostering a healthy and vibrant society, the government is dedicated to enhancing sports infrastructure in Telangana, she said.

The state government has decided to conduct 'Kulaganana' (Caste Survey) by taking up door-to-door household survey with the goal of eliciting the data required to estimate the Social, Educational, Economic, Employment and Political opportunities for various castes in general and BCs in particular, she added. PTI SJR SDP SJR SDP ROH

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