Vijayawada: Industries Minister M Gowtham Reddy said Andhra Pradesh carried out welfare and development works in a balanced manner despite the economic slump the world over. He said infrastructure, industries and commerce, IT, Skill Development were thrust areas.

The Minister said that the state had registered a growth rate of 1.58 per cent, even during Covid times due to the foresight of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

With the focus on protecting the lives and livelihoods of various sections of the society, the Chief Minister had implemented welfare activities such as YSR Cheyutha, Aasara, Zero-interest loans, MSME packages, supporting women empowerment in the industrial front.

"Andhra Pradesh is the only state that has come up with welfare calendar rolling out schemes on time implementing every promise listed under Navaratnalu," he said.

On the infrastructure front, Ports, Fishing Harbours, YSR Steel Corporation Limited, AP Airports Development Corporation, Corridor Development and Concept cities are the mainstay, he said.

"Policies, Business Reform Action Plan, Handlooms and allied field development work would be taken up," he said.

The Minister said focus was on the construction of Ramayapatnam, Bhavanapadu and Machilipatnam ports along with the construction of four fishing harbors which began in July and establishment of four more harbours are in process.

Stating that the building infrastructure is the top priority, he said that Kurnool airport is already in operation and steps are being taken to complete the construction of Bhogapuram airport as soon as possible.

He said from June 2019-May 2021, as many as 65 mega and large industries were set up in the state with an investment of Rs 29,780.86 crore by creating employment to 45,049 people. Similarly, in the MSME front, 13885 units were set up with an investment of Rs 4220.71 crore while employing 88,516 people. Also, there are 62 projects under implementation with a total investment of Rs 36,384.29 crore with a potential to create employment to 76,916 people and five public sector units with an investment of Rs 96,400 crore and with a potential to create employment to 79,700 people.

Further, the Minister said that investments of Rs 1032 crore have been achieved in this financial year, where projects worth Rs 18,000 crore are in progress. He stated that Andhra Pradesh ranked first in the Ease of Doing Business in 2020 by the DPIIT, and World Bank.

He said the state has been conferred with 'Best State in Skill Development' by ASSOCHAM. Similarly, APSSDC has been accredited with ISO:9001:2015 due to quality parameters adopted while implementing skill development programs. The state and has also been included in Genius Book of World Records for the progress achieved through virtual skilling during the Covid19 pandemic. Soon, 30 skill development colleges will be established across the State, as Skill Development and Training will be helpful to the workforce, he said.

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