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BRS questions PM over fuel prices, BJP hits back


Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) Working President K.T. Rama Rao on Monday asked a “straight question” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay on skyrocketing fuel prices despite crude oil price dropping in the international market.

Rama Rao said that in May 2014 when crude per barrel was $107, petrol price was Rs 71 per litre but in March 2023 when crude oil per barrel is $65, the price of petrol is Rs 110 per litre.

“If fuel prices had to be hiked when price of crude oil went up, should they also not be brought down when prices drop? Who is benefiting from the hike,” asked KTR, as the BRS leader is popularly known.

KTR, who is also a state minister, took to Twitter to pose the question to the PM. “To those who want petroleum products to be brought under GST to curb Fuel Price Hike; LPG is already under GST. But the price increased from Rs 400 to Rs 1200 in 8 years,” he said.

He asked how can a “Non-performing Alliance (NPA)” that cannot control LPG cylinder prices be entrusted with petroleum products?

Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay hit back at KTR.

He tweeted that BRS is a party of bald-faced liars, people will not believe anything that KTR says anymore because KCR is not reducing VAT.

“Telangana people are forced to pay one of the highest rate for Petrol in India Rs 109.66/litre which is downright loot. In BJP ruled state UP it costs Rs 96.57/litre,” Sanjay said.

The BJP leader said that VAT on petrol and diesel in Telangana is 35.2 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively, while in UP, it is 26.8 and 17.48 per cent.

Sanjay said that the Narendra Modi government cut central excise duty twice – in May 2022 and November 2021 – amounting cumulatively to Rs 13 per litre of petrol and Rs 15 per litre on diesel, at a cost of Rs 2.2 lakh crore a year to the Central exchequer. Prices of petrol & diesel in India (New Delhi) have declined by 5 per cent and 3.71 per cent, respectively between March 2022 & March 2023. These prices have gone up by 38 per cent and 104.02 per cent in Sri Lanka, 22 per cent and 45.16 per cent in Pakistan, 28 per cent and 20.23 per cent in Bangladesh and 22 per cent and 36.09 per cent in Nepal, he said.

“Their fabricated lies cannot conceal the fact that Global energy analysts and commentators are astonished at the fact that India, despite the sheer scale of its population – 50 lakh LPG cylinders are delivered by OMCs and 6 crore consumers visit OMC petrol pumps every day – has managed to ensure accessible and affordable energy to 1.4 billion people at a time when its immediate neighbourhood is facing dry-outs and massive price hikes, ” said the BJP leader.

He also claimed that the BJP-led Central government even imposed an export cess and windfall tax on domestically produced petroleum products year to prevent exporters from profiteering at the cost of domestic consumers.

“Oil Marketing Companies incurred huge losses during price peaks for ensuring the supply of petrol and diesel at controlled rates to Indian citizens, which have been kept unchanged by public sector OMCs since 6th April 2022. Inspired by PM Modi’s decisive consumer-welfare gesture, many state governments reduced VAT except Telangana. Instead of trying weary old tactic of spreading lies, the BRS should cut VAT in the best interest of the people,” Sanjay added.

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KTR’s aide involved in TSPSC paper leak: T’gana Congress chief


Telangana unit Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy on Sunday alleged that the personal assistant of state minister for industries and information technology K.T. Rama Rao has played a key role in the question paper leak case that has rocked Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC)

He also alleged that KTR’s PA Tirupati has links with Rajasekhar Reddy, a contract employee of TSPSC and number two accused in the case.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president claimed that the paper leakage happened from KTR’s office.

He said the minister gave Rajasekhar Reddy a job in TSPSC on the recommendation of Tirupati.

Revanth Reddy, who is currently on Haath se haath jodo padyatra, sat on protest in Kamareddy district over the question paper leak.

He demanded the state government should immediately order a probe by a sitting judge of the High Court.

He also announced that he would take the issue of paper leakage to the High Court.

Stating that TSPSC employees are ineligible to attend the exams conducted by TSPSC, he wondered how 20 employees appeared in exams.

Praveen Kumar, an employee of the Commission, had appeared in the Group-I Prelims. He had scored 103 marks.

The Congress leader said in the past, TSPSC employee Rajinikanth was selected for Group-I post. He had secured fourth rank.

Revanth Reddy said that the probe should cover all those who scored more than 100 marks in Group-I Prelims. He said 100 candidates from one mandal scored more than 100 marks.

The TPCC chief said that there were irregularities in Group-I results in 2016. Madhuri, who had come from the US to write the exam, secured first rank, he said.

He also claimed that 25 candidates who wrote Group-II exam in one place secured jobs.

The TSPSC had conducted the examination on March 5 for 833 vacancies of Assistant Engineer, Municipal Assistant Engineer, Technical Officer, and Junior Technical Officer in various engineering departments. A total of 55,000 candidates had written the exam.

However, the Commission suspected leakage of the question paper and lodged a complaint with the police.

On March 13, police arrested nine persons including two employees of the TSPSC.

Following the arrest of the accused, the Commission cancelled the exam and also postponed other exams scheduled to be held later this month.

Amid doubts that the accused may have leaked question papers of some other exams, the Commission on Friday decided to cancel three other exams including Group I Prelims.

Nearly 2.86 lakh aspirants of Group I posts had appeared in Group-I exam conducted on October 16, 2022.

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Those behind TSPSC paper leak will not be spared: KTR


The Government of Telangana will not spare the two suspended employees of Telangana State Public Service (TSPSC) and those behind them in thee question paper leak case, state minister K.T. Rama Rao said on Saturday.

Stating that one of the accused is an active worker of the BJP, he once again requested the Director General of Police (DGP) to investigate if there was any conspiracy to defame the government and provoke youth.

KTR addressed a news conference after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao reviewed the situation created by the leakage of question paper of an examination conducted by TSPSC for recruitment of assistant engineers in various government departments.

The case has rocked the Commission, which cancelled four examinations, including Group-I examination conducted during the last few months and decided to re-conduct the same.

The question paper leak also triggered a political row with the opposition parties demanding judicial probe or inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and resignation of minister KTR and even the chief minister.

Rejecting the demand by the opposition parties for his resignation, KTR questioned them in what way he was concerned with the case. He reminded the opposition parties that TSPSC is a constitutional body and the state government has no role in its day-to-day functioning.

“I am minister for information technology but does that mean I am responsible for every computer in the state,” he asked.

The accused employees of TSPSC had committed theft of question papers from a computer in a confidential section of the Commission and shared the same with the other accused for Rs 10 lakh.

KTR also appealed to the opposition parties not to play with the lives of the youth by instigating them against the government for their narrow political interests. “The boys are sensitive and they are upset as they have to write the exams again. I request the opposition not to provoke them,” he said.

The minister also appealed to the youth to understand the efforts being made by the government to allay any doubts by reconducting the examinations.

Stating that TSPSC had been working in a transparent manner during the last nine years due to various measures taken by the government, he said unfortunately a mistake of two individuals has bad name to the entire institution.

“It’s not the failure of the system or institution. It’s because of the mistake of two individuals that lakhs of youth are facing difficulties. We are working on how to rectify and ensure that such a thing does not happen in the future. We are consulting experts and will bring whatever reforms required,” he said.

He assured the youth that the government will not spare Praveen Kumar and Rajasekhar Reddy or whoever may be behind them. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) is conducting an impartial probe and stringent action will be taken against those found involved, he said.

The minister alleged that Rajasekhar Reddy was an active worker of the BJP and had been appealing to people to support the BJP. He displayed photographs of the contract employee of TSPSC with the BJP leaders.

“If such a person is caught in the case, it raises many doubts. The police will investigate if there is a conspiracy behind this. They will find out if there is a criminal motive to defame the government and provoke youth. Who is behind this, be it from the BJP, Congress or BRS there is no question of sparing them,” he said.

KTR claimed that when TSPSC was issuing notifications for recruitments in the government departments, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar was calling it a conspiracy. The BJP leader had alleged that the government was keeping youth busy with exams thus not allowing them to come to the BJP.

KTR announced that the government has decided to provide free coaching material to candidates preparing for re-examinations.

He said the coaching material for all four exams will be available online for free. Study circles for SCs, STs, BCs, minorities and the poor among upper castes will be strengthened across the state. The reading rooms in all districts will remain open round-the-clock to enable students to prepare for exams. They will be provided free study material and food.

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It’s Modi summons, says KTR on ED notice to Kavitha


Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K. T. Rama Rao said on Thursday described summons issued to BRS MLC K. Kavitha by the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi excise policy case as “Modi summons”.

Rama Rao, who is brother of Kavitha, slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government for misusing central agencies to harass opposition leaders.

Talking to reporters, he said Kavitha would appear before the ED and cooperate with the agency unlike BJP leader B. L. Santosh, who tried to avoid questioning by the SIT of Telangana in the case of alleged attempt to poach BRS MLAs.

He also targeted the Prime Minister for indulging in crony capitalism.

He alleged that ED and CBI raids on opposition parties were aimed at eradicating democracy in the country.

KTR, who is also a cabinet minister, alleged that the central agencies have become puppets in the hands of the Modi government.

He alleged that 11 leaders of BRS have been implicated in false cases. “Why none of the BJP leaders are being summoned by the central agencies. Is everyone in the BJP a brother of Raja Harishchandra,” he asked.

Alleging that the BJP-led government at the Centre has become synonymous with “unscrupulous rule” and “dishonest” investigating agencies, he said that 95 per cent of the raids by the Central agencies were on leaders of opposition parties.

He claimed that conviction was only in 23 out of 5,400 cases registered by the ED against the opposition leaders during the last nine years.

The BRS leader alleged that industrialist Gautam Adani has a link with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said though the LIC and SBI lost Rs.13 lakh crore, both the Prime Minister Modi and the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman remained tight-lipped.

KTR questioned the PM why he was silent on allegations against him on Adani. “We are saying Gautam Adani is a proxy of Narandra Modi. Will he take a lie detector test? Does he have the guts to come in front of the country,” he asked.

BJP’s double engine means one engine is Modi and the other engine is Adani. “Modi is a political engine, Adani is an economic engine,” he said.

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‘Telangana on a mission to emerge as women entrepreneurs’ hub’


The government of Telangana is on a mission to make the state a women entrepreneurs’ hub, Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao said on Wednesday.

Rao said the upcoming launch of a single window mechanism and targeted interventions will provide a professional identity for women entrepreneurs and enable them to scale their businesses, creating more employment opportunities in Tier 2 and 3 cities.

The minister was speaking at an event organised to mark the fifth anniversary of ‘WE HUB’, India’s first and only state-led incubator.

He said WE HUB has played a significant role in engaging with over 35,000 women entrepreneurs across India.

The achievements of women entrepreneurs were recognised and they were honoured for their contributions at the event organised on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

According to the organisers, WE HUB has been a beacon of hope for women entrepreneurs in India over the past five years, providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed in the business world.

A video presentation was made showcasing the projects, initiatives and programmes that have helped women entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurial journey. Five successful women entrepreneurs shared their inspiring stories of overcoming challenges and achieving success in their respective fields at the event.

Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology (IT), emphasised the importance of women’s participation in entrepreneurship and applauded WE HUB’s role in promoting women entrepreneurs.

Over the past five years, WE HUB has incubated 3,194 startups and SMEs founded by women. It has successfully engaged with over 5,000 women entrepreneurs, 1,247 students, 986 social impact entrepreneurs and 609 urban entrepreneurs. The incubator has been actively working towards enabling women-led startups across sectors.

“At WE HUB, we believe that women entrepreneurs are a force to be recognised. Our mission is to provide them with the resources and support they need to succeed, regardless of their background or social circumstances. Through our work, we have seen first-hand the incredible impact that women can have on their communities and the economy,” said WE HUB CEO, Deepthi Ravula.

WE HUB is the first-of-its-kind and only state-run platform for women entrepreneurs run by the government of Telangana. It aims to create a supportive community for aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs where they can interact with venture capitalists for funding, connect with corporates for scaling up their business, get advice from mentors to fine-tune ideas and benefit from technical mentoring.

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Hyderabad: Work on key steel bridge to be completed in 3 months


Telangana’s Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao on Saturday directed municipal authorities to complete in three months the work related to a steel bridge which is expected to ease congestion in the central part of Hyderabad.

The minister conducted a surprise inspection of the works related to the steel bridge from Indira Park to VST and other development works.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) engineering team is constructing the 2.62-km long four-lane bi-directional steel bridge.

The minister exhorted the officials to complete the works in three months and asked them to coordinate with Traffic Police to impose traffic diversions needed for the purpose.

He also impressed upon the officials that the safety of workers and the public has to be given priority.

The minister said that the steel bridge will be developed on the lines of other projects completed under the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP).

The GHMC is constructing the steel bridge corridor at a cost of nearly Rs 426 crore.

The project will especially serve people in Musheerabad, Khairatabad, Amberpet and surrounding locations. It will ease the flow of traffic at RTC Cross Roads.

Stating that there was a demand for the project from the past two decades, KTR said that a steel bridge is being constructed instead of the traditional concrete bridge so that the works are completed at the earliest.

He said that the project will give relief from traffic congestion to lakhs of people.

The minister also inspected the Strategic Nala Development Programme (SNDP) work at Hussain Sagar Surplus Nala. He assessed the retaining wall being constructed at Ashok Nagar.

He said that a huge amount of funds were allocated for the Hussain Sagar Surplus Nala and constructions such as the retaining wall were taken up.

He said that this will protect low lying areas from flood water from the lake. He asked the GHMC officials to complete the works before monsoons set in.

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Balagam Team Overwhelmed with Support of KTR


Balagam’ Starring Priyadarshi and Kavya Kalyanram play the lead roles in the film. The movie is written and directed by Venu Yeldandi, also known as “Jabardasth Venu.” This is his directorial debut. The film is produced by Dil Raju Productions. Recently released songs and trailer wowed the audience. The film is releasing worldwide on March 3rd. Ahead of the film’s release makers arranged a grand pre release event at Bathukamma Ghat, Siricilla.

Telangana IT minister Kalvakuntla Taraka RamaRao attended the event as chief guest. Siddhu Jonnalagadda also attended the event. The DJ tillu actor Sidhu Jonnalagadda said ‘Our Telangana culture is more than money. It was shown in this movie. This movie made me understand how great Telangana culture is. KTR is taking Telangana to international level. I think our Ramanna is the coolest politician. And I wish the blockbuster success for the whole team.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister KTR expressed his wish that the public would recognise the new talents in this film. He said “Thank you brother Venu for showing the beauty of Sircilla. Any emotion that stirs the depths of the heart is bound to elicit a response from the masses. Human relationships are explored in depth in this film. Small films like this are causing quite an uproar in India. Famous people like C. Narayana Reddy, recipient of the Gnanpeeth Award, and Midde Ramulu were born on the Siricilla soil.”

Telangana is currently experiencing a cultural renaissance, with many upcoming artists from Telangana shining on the big screen. These people would not have had these opportunities if there had been no separate state. Telangana government has a lot to do with cinema. All of them will be implemented in the future. I believe that this film will highlight the culture of Telangana villages as well as the incredible talent of Telangana artists. On the 3rd of this month, all of the theatres should be full,’ he said. He also blessed the entire team and wished them luck on March 3rd.

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Will not spare guilty, KTR on medico’s suicide


“Saif or Sanjay, we will not spare the guilty”, said Telangana Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Monday in his first reaction to the suicide of a post-graduate medical student of Kakatiya Medical College due to alleged harassment by her senior.

Addressing a public meeting at Sodashapally in Hanamkonda district, he slammed the opposition parties for what he called politicising every small issue.

Rama Rao expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Dharavathi Preethi and assured them that the state government will stand by them

“Whoever has done injustice to Dr Preethi, be it Saif, Sanjay or anyone else, we will not spare them. We will make sure that they are punished as per law,” he said.

Warangal police have arrested her senior M.A. Saif who allegedly targeted Preethi with insulting comments, which believed to have led to the girl committing suicide.

Preethi, a first year student of the post graduate (MD) in the department of Anaesthesia at Kakatiya Medical College (KMC) in Warangal, succumbed at a hospital in Hyderabad on Sunday night, five days after she allegedly took a lethal injection.

Last rites of the 26-year-old tribal were performed at Girni Thanda in Jangaon district on Monday afternoon.

Warangal police on February 24 arrested Saif, a second year student in the Department of Anaesthesia.

Police said the targeted harassment of Preethi by her senior which could have driven her to attempt suicide.

Booked for abetment to suicide, he was also charged under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Anti-Ragging Act.

Meanwhile, ministers E. Dayakar Rao and Satyavati Rathod visited Preethi’s house and consoled her family. The ministers assured the family that the guilty will not be spared. They also assured the girl’s family that the government will stand by them.

Dayakar Rao said while the state government has announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia to the family, he would give Rs 20 lakh on his behalf. He said the proposal to provide government jobs to Preethi’s sister and brother was under consideration of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The ministers also condemned the attempts by BJP and Congress to politicise the issue.

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Sisodia’s arrest to divert attention from Adani-Modi nexus: KCR


Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday condemned the arrest of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Delhi liquor policy scam case.

KCR, as the leader is popularly known, and is also the President of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), said in a statement that the arrest is nothing more than diverting people’s attention from the nexus between industrialist Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

BRS Working President K. T. Rama Rao had Sunday termed Sisodia’s arrest as undemocratic and alleged that BJP’s treatment of opposition is vicious.

The BRS leader wanted to know how many ED, IT and CBI raids were conducted on BJP leaders or their kith and kin in the last 8 years.

“The country is watching how PM’s cronies are protected despite serious allegations and how Opposition leaders are hounded,” Rama Rao said.

“Modi’s Operandi is clear Target opposition parties by all means at his disposal; Either split the parties Or poach their MLAs & dislodge elected Governments If nothing works, use their only allies; CBI, ED & IT to harass and launch a smear campaign Back it with Paid Troll Army,” KTR tweeted.

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Telangana to position Hyderabad as ‘Health-Tech Mecca’


The government of Telangana will work on a programme to position Hyderabad as the “Health-Tech Mecca” of the world, state industries minister K.T. Rama Rao announced on Friday.

Through various incubator programmes, and access to deep computing resources, the state will actively support startups that drive the convergence of healthcare and technology.

He exuded confidence that a few global health-tech unicorns will emerge out of this programme.

Addressing BioAsia, the leading life sciences event which began here on Friday, he described Hyderabad as the life sciences capital of Asia.

The 20th edition of BioAsia is being attended by healthcare, pharma, and life sciences leaders from more than 100 countries.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, recalled that the state had set out a vision of doubling the value of the life sciences ecosystem to $100 billion by 2030.

“A lot of people felt that it was too ambitious. I am pleased to announce that the ecosystem value has already touched $80 billion in 2022. This represents a phenomenal ecosystem value growth in Telangana at a mind boggling 23 per cent over the last two years compared to the national average of about 14 per cent,” he said.

He exuded confidence that the state will achieve the target by 2025 itself, five years ahead of schedule.

“We are proud to state that Hyderabad is the only city in the country that has an ever-growing Genome Valley, an expanding Medtech Park and an upcoming Pharma City, which will be the world’s largest,” he said.

KTR said the state attracted net new investment of more than $3 billion over the last 7 years. More than 4.5 lakh jobs were created during the same period.

“Our ultimate aim is to make Telangana, the knowledge capital of the world’s life sciences industry. A key component of this is the growth of the lifesciences services sector. We already serve more than 1,000 lifesciences companies globally, including the top 10 pharma companies, in their innovation journey,” he said.

The minister explained that this is being done through the cutting-edge work being executed by R&D and technology partners like Aragen, Sai, Syngene, Deloitte, Accenture, Tech Mahindra, among many others.

He pointed out that 4 of the top 10 global innovator companies now have a direct presence in Hyderabad through their dedicated centers. These centers drive core R&D, digital and engineering activities, thereby contributing to bringing lifesaving cost-effective therapies and devices to patients world-wide.

He said convergence of healthcare and technology is one of the four pillars the government is building.

The other three are complex manufacturing at scale, R&D and innovation, building high-end, cross value chain Global Capability Centre (GCCs)

“Our ultimate vision through building these four pillars is to play a significant part in advancing the quality of human lives world-wide. And we can only do it if we bring forth the spirit of collaboration. Hence, theme of BioAsia 2023 “Advancing for one” couldn’t be more relevant,” he said.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic has proved the value of collaboration and its impact on people’s wellbeing, when the world came together to overcome one of humanity’s greatest healthcare challenges. Hence, the theme Advancing for One to celebrate the spirit of collaboration and promoting human prosperity.

KTR pointed out that Telangana contributes 40 per cent of India’s Pharma production and is home to more than 1,000 life sciences companies.

“We are the only region in the world to have more than 200 FDA approved sites for pharmaceutical manufacturing which produce both innovator and generic medicines. Our capability will be further strengthened with the launch of Hyderabad Pharma City, which is the world’s largest and sustainable integrated pharma park.”

“Hyderabad has been leading biological production in the country with its key players like Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Biological E, Bharat Biotech, Shantha Biotech, Aurobindo, Hetero, Gland Pharma and Virchow Biotech. We are working on establishing Biopharma Hub (B-hub), which is a first-of-its-kind Growth-Phase Center and Biopharma Scale-up Manufacturing facility in India,” he added.

He revealed that the state was also making investments in the Cell and Gene Therapy space and e-working towards establishing an Institute of Curative Medicine in Hyderabad with the aim to provide affordable development and commercialisation of the new age curative therapies (particularly cell and gene therapy) for disease pertinent to India.

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Chandanvelly to become Telangana’s largest industrial cluster: KTR


Chandanvelly and adjoining Sitarampur near Hyderabad will become Telangana’s largest industrial cluster in future, state Industries and Commerce Minister K.T. Rama Rao said on Wednesday.

Tech giant Microsoft, global e-commerce leader Amazon, and leading textile company Kitex Garments are setting up their units in this cluster, where textile major Welspun India Ltd on Wednesday opened its second manufacturing facility.

Microsoft has reportedly acquired 52 acres in Chandanvelly to establish one of the three data centres in Hyderabad. Amazon is also planning to set up a data centre at Chandanvelly.

Kitex Garments, which has already signed MoU with Telangana government to invest Rs 2,406 crore in the state, is setting up one of the two units in this cluster.

Sitarampur will be one of the electric vehicle manufacturing clusters under Telangana Mobility Valley (TMV).

Inaugurating the Welspun facility, Rama Rao recalled that five years ago when Welspun came to Chandanvelly, there was nothing in the area.

He also recalled that Welspun had originally planned to set up the unit at Kutch in Gujarat but when he met Welspun Chairman Balkrishan Goenka and explained to him the strengths of the region and assured full support, the latter dropped the idea of setting up plant in Gujarat and choose Telangana.

He pointed out that Welspun started two units with an investment of Rs 2,000 crore and welcomed Goenka’s announcement that in the next 5-6 years, they will invest another Rs 3,000 to 5,000 crore to develop what he calls Welspun valley.

On this occasion, Welspun Group, a global conglomerate, also announced that it would set up an IT/ITeS center in Chandanvelly.

Mentioning that Welspun is already operating in Ahmedabad and Mumbai in the IT/ TES sector, he said that the company has decided to set up their IT Centre in their industrial premises in Chandanvelly.

KTR, as the Minister is popularly known, thanked Goenka for their decision and hoped that this would strengthen the Telangana government’s goal of expanding IT to tier 2 and 3 cities. With the establishment of Welspun IT Centre, the desire of the local people to have IT companies in their region will also be fulfilled and 1,000-1,200 local youth will get an opportunity to do IT jobs.

With an investment of Rs 500 crore, the advanced textile facility of Welspun Advanced Material India Ltd, inaugurated on Wednesday, is Welspun’s second investment in the same vicinity after setting up a flooring facility valued at Rs 1,500 crores two years ago.

The plant will manufacture Spun-Lace which is used in categories like hygiene applications, family care and products that are used by individuals in their daily lives. The new plant will also support the Group’s new vision of “Har Ghar Se Har Dil Tak Welspun” according to which, the Welspun Group wants to touch the lives of end consumers through the businesses in their portfolio.

Dipali Goenka, Joint MD and CEO, Welspun India said that the new facility will create over 12,000 direct and indirect jobs that will benefit the surrounding communities of Chandanvelly.

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Hyderabad home to maximum USFDA approved pharma units in world


Hyderabad, which has emerged as a key global hub in life sciences, is home to the largest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved companies in the world.

With 214 units certified by the US drug administrator, Hyderabad is far ahead of New Jersey, which stands second with 189 USFDA approved units, Telangana Industries, Commerce and Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao said on Tuesday.

He said the state government would make efforts for setting up of USFDA office in Hyderabad.

He also said the Telangana government has set the ambitious goal of doubling the size of the life sciences sector to $100 billion by 2028. It is also looking at increasing the workforce to 8 lakh from current 4 lakh employees.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, was interacting with a select group of journalists on the eve of BioAsia 2023, the marquee life sciences event organised by the Telangana government.

The 20th edition of BioAsia, beginning on February 24, is expected to give further impetus to the state’s efforts to strengthen the life sciences sector.

The minister pointed out that currently 9 billion doses of vaccines are made in Hyderabad annually and next year, this is likely to go up to 14 billion. “At present, Hyderabad accounts for 35 per cent of the global vaccine production and next year the city’s contribution is expected to increase to 50 per cent,” he said.

KTR stated that Hyderabad also accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s pharmaceutical production.

Listing out rapid strides made by the state in the life sciences sector, he said Medical Devices Park at Sultanpur near Hyderabad has run out of space. This is the largest medical devices park in the world, he said.

KTR said Hyderabad Pharma City coming up on 14,000 acres of land will be the world’s largest pharma cluster. He hoped that some legal hurdles in the ambitious project would be cleared soon.

He said in Genome Valley, the mega cluster for life sciences R&D, 30 lakh square feet of lap space has already been taken by the companies while another 20 lakh square feet of space is being developed. He hoped that in the next 2-3 years even this space would be taken by the companies.

Genome Valley is home to more than 200 companies including marquee global names like Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Ferring Pharma, Chemo, DuPont, Ashland, United States Pharmacopeia, and Lonza.

The minister stated that trade and investment to an extent of $3 billion were announced at BioAsia during the last 19 years, BioAsia helped attract $3 billion investment.

More than 250 Letters of Intent, Bilateral Cooperation Agreements, and MoU were signed.

The event hosted leaders from over 100 countries, helping in showcasing the ecosystem and policies to the global leaders.

During the previous editions of BioAsia, over 20,000 partnering meetings were held, more than 30 knowledge papers and policy recommendations were submitted.

Countries like Switzerland, Norway, Thailand, Korea, Argentina, Spain, UK, Germany, South Africa etc. have participated with large ministerial and industrial delegations in BioAsia.

KTR said that the event has benefitted immensely from its participants of scientific and business excellence including Nobel Laureates, Lasker Awardees, breakthrough Prize winners and global industry leaders.

One of the highlights of BioAsia has been the conferment of the prestigious Genome Valley Excellence Award. The award was instituted in 2004 to celebrate individuals, who have made remarkable contributions to the sector. This year the award will be presented to Prof Robert Langer for his immense contribution to research on mRNA technology.

The theme for this year’s edition is ‘Advancing for ONE – Shaping the next generation of humanised healthcare’.

Participation from about 50 countries is expected in BioAsia 2023. The UK will be the partner country and Flanders will be the international partner region.

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Central agencies turned into BJP’s biggest puppets: KTR


Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader and Telangana minister K. T. Rama Rao on Tuesday alleged that agencies like IT, CBI and ED have become the BJP’s biggest puppets.

In wake of the reported Income Tax (IT) raids on BBC India, he tweeted: “What a surprise. A few weeks after they aired the documentary on Modi, BBC India now raided by IT”.

“Agencies like IT, CBI and ED have become a laughing stock for turning into BJP’s biggest puppets,” added KTR, as the minister is popularly known.

“What next? ED raids on Hindenburg or a hostile takeover attempt,” he asked.

His sister and member of Legislative Council, K. Kavitha has also slammed the BJP government at the Centre.

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Hyderabad to witness Formula E Racing


Mega Powerstar Ram Charan met Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra and Telangana state minister KTR at E-Racing Generation three car launch event at Tech Mahindra’s Info City campus in Hitech city, Hyderabad. The picture of the trio is viral after Anand Mahindra and KTR posted their interaction pictures on social media. Ram Charan wished Anand Mahindra great success at the Formula E racing and KTR for bringing such an amazing initiative to the city. On the work front, the RRR actor Ram Charan will be participating in RC15 shoot at the iconic Charminar in Shankar’s direction. The film is expected to release next year.

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Mahindra to set up EV manufacturing facility in Telangana


Automotive major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd will set up an electric vehicle manufacturing facility as expansion of its existing manufacturing facilities at Zaheerabad in Telangana,

As part of its Last Mile Mobility business, Mahindra & Mahindra will manufacture electric 3 and 4 wheelers at this state-of-the-art facility.

The Telangana government signed an MoU with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd for establishing a manufacturing facility on the sidelines of the first edition of Mobility Next Hyderabad Summit.

The government said on Thursday that the facility will involve an investment of about Rs.1,000 crores, creating employment for about 800-1,000 persons.

M&M will collaborate with the state government to lay down the roadmap for development of electric vehicle and energy storage systems manufacturing units in the state.

Industries Minister K. T. Rama Rao welcomed the investment from M&M. He stated that the proposed facility by M&M will greatly contribute to the goal of Telangana Mobility Valley to further accelerate the growth of sustainable mobility in India.

“Location at Zaheerabad, one of the 4 Mega EV Manufacturing clusters being developed by the state, will allow M&M to access state-of-the-art infrastructure planned to be created by the state in the mega clusters,” he said.

Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director (Auto & Farm), Mahindra & Mahindra, thanked the Telangana government for their long-standing partnership. “We are delighted to consider expansion of the current manufacturing unit at Zaheerabad for our new EV Manufacturing investment. This investment will help continue our leadership position in electric 3-Wheeler category,” he said.

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Telangana launches India’s first Mobility Valley


The Telangana government on Monday unveiled Telangana Mobility Valley, India’s first new mobility-focused cluster to accelerate growth of sustainability mobility in the country.

Telangana Mobility Valley (TMV) aims to attract investments of around Rs 50,000 crore and generate more than 4 lakh jobs in the next 5 years.

Industries and Commerce Minister K. T. Rama Rao made the announcement while inaugurating the first edition of the Mobility Next Hyderabad EV Summit.

He said that TMV has already generated significant momentum amongst the industry. Amara Raja will invest Rs 9,500 crore in setting up Li-Ion giga-factory while Hyundai will invest Rs 1,400 crore for setting Automotive Proving Grounds.

Bilti Electric to invest Rs 1,100 crore for setting up e3W manufacturing plant while Allox to invest Rs 750 crore to set up India’s first multi gigawatt cathode manufacturing.

The minister revealed that Attero would invest Rs 600 crore in setting up a battery recycling plant and Gravton would invest Rs 150 crore in setting up e2W manufacturing.

Apollo will set up a Digital Innovation Centre for driving efficiency. Bosch Global Software Technologies will hire up to 3,000 employees to develop AI and safety solutions in automotives. Fisker has set-up its first facility outside the US for developing engineering R&D. MG Group has set-up an EV Park in Hyderabad to support start-ups.

The Telangana government, along with TASK, has set up the Kalam Centre For Automotive Excellence (CAE) to upskill youth in e-Mobility.

Further, investments aggregating Rs 3,000 crore are in advanced stages and will be announced in next two weeks. These investments will further strengthen the electric 3-wheeler, electric 2-wheeler, and charging equipment manufacturing ecosystem in Telangana, Rama Rao said.

The state has engaged leading consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group to help conceptualise and develop a truly differentiated vision for the TMV, which aims to facilitate companies across all segments of sustainable mobility – electric 2-wheeler/3-wheeler/4-wheeler, advanced cell chemistry and hydrogen fuel cells, Tier 1 and Tier 2 Component manufacturers and Auto Engineering R&D companies

As part of TMV, the state is developing four mega clusters in and around Hyderabad: EV manufacturing clusters in Zaheerabad and Seetharampur, energy storage system (ESS) cluster in Divitipally, and innovation cluster at Yenkathala.

“Each of the clusters will be equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure to reduce cost of operations for their tenant. For instance, we are setting India’s most comprehensive shared testing and validation infrastructure at Yenkathala. This includes state of the art labs for EV Powertrain, EV Battery, ADAS, NVH, EMI-EMC and Component Test Labs and India’s first CAV proving grounds to test Autonomous Vehicles in 100+ acres,” the minister said.

The state government has signed a MOU with ATS-TUV Rheinland, a leading German services provider which will invest Rs 250 crore to develop and operate these facilities in Yenkathala.

“Our ESS cluster will have world class infrastructure to manufacture lithium-ion cells, cathode active battery material, and other lithium-ion components. The cluster will also have a battery recycling facility to minimise carbon footprint and reduce costs of production for developing battery packs for EVs,” the minister said.

He said in TMV the government will bring together industry and the academia to setup series of Centers of Excellence (CoE) to create industry ready talent.

He announced that India’s first CoE in Automotive cybersecurity in collaboration between BITS Hyderabad and Bosch, will be launched in the upcoming academic year.

This COE between BITS and Bosch will set an example for the country for creating talent to meet the changing requirements of the automotive industry

“Further, we will be announcing at least four other COEs over the next few weeks on topics like Automotive Cybersecurity, Automotive Artificial Intelligence, Electrochemistry and Modelling & Simulation,” he added.

The minister said that another focus area for TMV is to promote mobility startups in the state

T-Hub, India’s largest innovation centre, has partnered with leading mobility corporates such as Maruti Suzuki, Nissan, and Uber for identifying innovative start-ups and has incubated successful start-ups such as Biliti Electric, Hala Mobility etc

The state has entered into an MoU with Plug and Play to set up co-working and incubation spaces for start-ups. To identify and support entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, the state is organising ‘Grand Start-up challenge’ as part of Hyderabad E-Mobility week. State will be supporting selected ideas through grants and incubation support. Over 100 start-ups in the mobility space have submitted cutting edge ideas.

He announced that the Hyderabad E Mobility will be held regularly to foster collaboration by bringing together the thought leaders, experts and global automotive ecosystem players to chart a course for sustainable mobility.

In addition to the Summit, the Hyderabad E-Mobility week includes RallE, which was organized with an objective to promote e-mobility amongst the citizens and saw participation from more than 700 EVs.

Hyderabad E-Motor Show will provide a platform to the automotive companies to showcase their next gen EV models.

To showcase the power of E-Mobility, Hyderabad will become the first city in India to host the Formula E race.

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Politicians need to focus on economics not politics: KTR


Telangana’s minister for industries, commerce and information technology K.T. Rama Rao on Thursday called for politicians to focus on economics rather than on politics.

He said it was unfortunate that leaders in India focus on politics and not on the economy.

India is in a perennial mode of elections and politicians were always more focused on winning the elections than creating wealth for the next generations, he said while addressing at the NHRD ‘Decode The Future- The National Conference’.

“We are the world’s largest democracy and elections happen throughout the year and the leaders are always seized with politics,” he said.

K.T. Rama Rao, popularly known as KTR, also underlined the need for ensuring equitable distribution of wealth.

India was the most populous country in the world and yet a majority of the wealth of the nation was owned by a few individuals, he pointed out.

He said it was the primary responsibility of every single government to ensure wealth distribution.

“We need to think whether the leadership of our nation is giving us the aspirations of being a 25 trillion economy, besides how the wealth can be distributed equally among all sections,” KTR said.

“We are a nation with the maximum number of poor people on the planet. I am not preaching Communism but unless wealth is distributed equitably and unless the government takes care of the most vulnerable, we may have civil strife,” he warned.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that freebie culture is bad for the country, KTR said the fact remains that India is still a third world country.

He said that India which recently surpassed China as the most populous state with 1.4 billion has the biggest advantage both in terms of natural and Human resources.

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader believes that the biggest challenge for a leader is not capital management but people management.

He pointed out that the maiden age of 65 per cent of India’s think force is 35 years and maiden age of 50 per cent of think force is 28 years.

“We are the youngest nation on the planet but we are not using this asset effectively,” he said.

Unfortunately, the youth were being trained and groomed to be job seekers and not job providers, he said.

Stating that the statistics are sometimes misleading, he said while India is fifth largest economy in terms of GDP, it ranks 142 with a per capita income of only $2,400.

KTR said India and China had almost similar GDPs in the 1980s. Now, China was a 18 trillion dollar economy and India was still languishing at 3.4 trillion dollars. Similarly, Japan, despite its geographical and topographical challenges, is the third largest economy in the world.

He said China managed its aspirations and development goals and ensured that its natural and human resources were put to effective use. He said Japan could achieve amazing growth despite all adversities because of the intellect of its people.

Listing out the rapid strides made by Telangana during the last eight years, especially the growth in GSDP and the per capita income, he claimed that If only the rest of India had performed at par with Telangana, the country would have already become a 4.25 trillion dollar economy.

KTR claimed that Telangana made good use of the natural and human resources and achieved 15 percent CAGR. Telangana’s per capita income in 2014 was Rs 1.24 lakh and increased to Rs 2.75 lakh while the national average was Rs 1.49 lakh, he said.

He pointed out that in the last 8.5 years, Telangana issued nearly 22,000 clearances for industries through TS-IPASS and generated 21 lakh direct jobs.

He also explained how Telangana was marching ahead with a fine balance of development and welfare.

“If only the rest of India can work like Telangana and if only the rest of India is led by a leader like KCR, 5 trillion is a joke, we can reach 15 trillion dollars,” he said.

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PepsiCo to expand Global Business Services Centre in Hyderabad


American multinational food company PepsiCo is planning to expand its operation in Hyderabad and add 1,200 employees within the next one and half years.

The Global Business Services Center of PepsiCo which started with 250 people in 2019 has become 2,800 strong now. With the expansion, the headcount will grow to 4,000.

This was announced by the company on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Roberto Azevedo, EVP Corporate Affairs, PepsiCo, met Telangana’s minister for industries and commerce at Telangana Pavilion and discussed the company’s expansion plans in the state.

Minister KTR expressed happiness over the rapid growth of the PepsiCo’s Global Business Services Center in Hyderabad and assured that the state government will extend all possible cooperation for all future investments of the company.

PesiCo GBS is currently delivering critical products and solutions for company operations and digitalising HR, and Financial Services of the company.

PepsiCo is keen to participate in sustainability initiatives in partnership with the Government of Telangana including improving water efficiency, recycling and reuse of plastics, according to a statement from the minister’s office in Hyderabad.

During the meeting, the manufacturing opportunities for popular PepsiCo food products in Telangana state were also discussed.

IT & Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan, Dr Vishnuvardhan Reddy, Special Secretary, Invest Telangana were present during the meeting.

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Telangana stands as role model, says KTR


Telangana with astounding progress achieved since inception of the state in 2014 stands as a role model, said state minister for industries and information technology K.T. Rama Rao.

Before heading to the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, the Minister spoke at the ‘Meet and Greet’ programme organised by the Indian diaspora in Zurich.

Indians living in Switzerland, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and other countries attended the gathering, according to the Minister’s office in Hyderabad.

He urged the NRIs to be Telangana’s goodwill ambassador, participate in government’s programmes like Mana Ooru — Mana Badi and promote Telangana and India.

Urging them to be part of the state’s growth story, KTR assured of complete support even if anyone wants to make small investments in the state and create jobs.

Giving a peek into development, the minister said that paddy production was at 68 lakh tonnes and procurement by the government was 24 lakh tonnes in 2014 and in 2022, the production and procurement grew to 3.5 crore tonnes and over two crore tonnes, respectively.

The IT exports out of Telangana grew from Rs. 57,000 crore to Rs 1.83 lakh crore, per capita of Telangana grew from Rs 1.24 lakh in 2014 to Rs 2.78 lakh, while national average is Rs 1.49 lakh, he said

Speaking about the progress achieved in the villages, KTR said that now every village has a nursery, vaikunta dhamam, and 10 per cent of gram panchayat budget is earmarked as green budget, and the government has provided a tractor and a tanker for every gram panchayat in the state.

KTR said that the needs of farmers were taken care of by providing free power round-the-clock, Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bhima, high quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, and Rythu Vedikas were built.

He said that Palle Pragathi was a role model, and that the needs of people in villages were thoroughly thought through by Chief Minister KCR, which no other Chief Minister or Prime Minister did.

The Industries Minister said that five revolutions are unfolding in Telangana, which are: Pink revolution (meat), yellow revolution (oil palm), blue revolution (inland fisheries), white revolution (milk) and green revolution (crops).

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Telangana seeks funds in Union Budget for various projects


Telangana’s Minister for Industries and Information Technology, K.T. Rama Rao has sought budgetary support from the Centre for various industrial projects in the state.

Reminding the Narendra Modi-led Central Government about the promises made to Telangana, he said that the upcoming Union Budget 2023-24 is the right occasion for the Centre to show its commitment to the development of the state.

After writing a series of letters urging the Centre to support various sectors in the state, Rama Rao on Saturday dashed off a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman about the budgetary support that Central government has to extend to various projects in Telangana industrial sector.

KTR, as the Telangana minister is popularly known, said that if the Centre truly believes in the slogans – Make in India, Aatmanirbhar Bharat, then support has to be extended to progressive states like Telangana which is filled with the potential to actualise those slogans.

Stating that Telangana’s pioneering policies achieved notable progress in the industrial sector after formation of the state, the minister said that world-class infrastructure is being created to meet the needs of industries and attract more investments.

As part of it, KTR said, India’s largest textile park, world’s largest single pharma cluster – Hyderabad Pharma City are being established. He said that the industrial parks will usher in development of not only the state but the entire country.

Reiterating that the country’s progress can be fast tracked if states are strengthened, KTR sought huge funds to be allotted to Telangana which became a key player in the nation’s industrial sector.

KTR said that though the state sought Centre’s support many a time in the past, it did not receive sufficient funds in the previous eight Union Budgets introduced by the BJP-led Union government.

In his letter to the Union Finance Minister, KTR listed the industrial corridors, industrial parks and various other projects spread across the state which need budgetary support from the Union government.

He sought funding support for external infrastructure development at NIMZ, Zaheerabad. He said the Centre should provide Rs 500 crore out of the total estimate of Rs 9,500 crore.

KTR also sought budgetary support for development of Hyderabad-Warangal industrial corridor and Hyderabad-Nagpur industrial corridor.

At least 50 per cent of the total cost of Rs 5,000 crore is required to join two nodes of Hyderabad Pharma City and NIMZ Zaheerabad, he wrote.

The Union minister was also urged to provide fund support for development of Hyderabad-Vijayawada industrial corridor. KTR sought Rs 1,500 crore out of Rs 5,000 crore to newly identified Hyderabad, Jadcherla, Gadwal, Kothakota nodes

Establishing a Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in Jadcherla Industrial Park under TIES scheme and gas allotment for the same, sanction and upgradation of Brownfield Manufacturing Clusters, reopening of Cement Corporation of India in Adilabad, setting up a national design centre in Hyderabad, budgetary support for Hyderabad Pharma City, inclusion of Hyderabad in the proposed Defence Industrial Production corridor, support for development of Kakatiya Mega Textile Park and sanctioning of Mega Powerloom Cluster including Textile Park, Weaving Park and Apparel Park in Sircilla under the Comprehensive Powerloom Cluster Development Scheme (CPCDS) are among the other requests made by the minister.

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