HYDERABAD: The Centre has not sanctioned a single rupee for creating Information Technology and Investment Region (ITIR) in Hyderabad, Telangana’s IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao said on Saturday.
Rama Rao told the state Assembly that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government did not provide any assistance for the project sanctioned by the earlier United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II government.
He said despite repeated requests during the meetings with then IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and also several letters sent by the state, the Centre did not provide any funds.
Rama Rao pointed out that Prasad went to the extent of saying that the government has shelved ITIRs.
He recalled that UPA-II government just before the end of its tenure had announced setting up of five ITIRs including one each in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. He said then government did not provide any funds for the project.
He rubbished the allegations by the opposition that the state government did not provide requisite information to the Centre and this resulted in the delay in ITIR not taking off.
Rama Rao asked Congress leaders why their own government in Karnataka failed in setting up ITIR in Bengaluru.
KTR, as Rama Rao is popularly known, said despite the Centre not giving any funds for ITIR, Telangana’s growth in IT sector had not stopped. He claimed due to the pro-active policies of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, the sector is witnessing rapid growth.
“The IT exports from Telangana has been growing at over 17 per cent against the national average of 8-9 per cent for last five years,” he said.
KTR said the state registered IT exports of nearly Rs 1.10 lakh crore during 2018-19.
He said the state government announced a policy for information and communication technology and separate policies for sub-sectors like animation and gaming, innovation, data centre, drones and cyber security.
He told the House that the government was working to take IT to tier-II cities and announced that an IT Tower in Karimnagar would be launched in October while the one in Khammam would be opened by the year-end.
Under the rural technology policy, BPO companies will start functioning in towns like Jangaon, Nizamabad, Huzurnagar, Karimnagar and Jadcherla.
He said Innovation in Multimedia, Animation, Gaming and Entertainment (IMAGE) towers, coming up in Hyderabad, would be completed in two years.
He also assured members that the government will take steps to ensure that the growth of IT sector is not confined to the western part of Hyderabad but spread in other directions too.