KTR makes political pitch in CII meet, seeks vote for BRS re-election

K T Rama Rao on Tuesday asked the Indian industry to vote the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) back to power in Telangana in the next elections so that it can continue its good work


HYDERABAD: Telangana Minister for IT, Industries, Municipal Administration and Urban Development K T Rama Rao on Tuesday asked the Indian industry to vote the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) back to power in Telangana in the next elections so that it can continue its good work, done over the last eight years.

Delivering the inaugural address of the CII annual meeting in Hyderabad on Tuesday, KTR used his trademark wit and humour to convey this rather pragmatic message to the who’s who of the Indian industry. “Since I’m addressing the last CII annual meeting before the next general elections, let me ask you to vote me (BRS) back to power so that we can come back as a Government,” he appealed amid thunderous applause.

And KTR was quick to latch on that too. “I’m guessing by the kind of applause that I will come back. I’m hopeful,” he quipped on a light-hearted note amid peels of laughter from the audience.

On a more serious note, he referred to the recent Bio Asia Summit held in Hyderabad from February 24 to 26, 2023, and said that many exciting things had unfolded during the event, considered one of the most premier conventions in Asia. Stressing the need to safeguard the healthcare and life sciences sectors, KTR announced his government’s ambitions to revise its life sciences ecosystem valuation target for 2030 from the earlier USD 80 billion to USD 250 billion.

He shared an anecdotal observation of the Telangana Government on the multifold growth of the life sciences ecosystem in the state in just over two years from 2020 till 2022.

“Back in 2020, the Telangana Government conducted the Bio Asia Summit in virtual mode in the midst of the (COVID-19) pandemic. We made a commitment to ourselves that we would double the ecosystem valuation of the life sciences industry in Telangana by 2030 from the USD 50 billion in 2020. What actually happened was, from USD 50 billion in 2020, we actually went up to USD 80 billion in 2022, achieving about 30 percent growth in just about two-and-a-half years, which was a huge surprise for us as well.

“After the pandemic, the world has realised that we need to invest more in healthcare and life sciences besides ensuring that this brilliant industry that saves lives needs to be focused on. So, just as governments, institutions and individuals across the world started investing more and more in life sciences, our valuation too jumped from USD 50 billion to USD 80 billion in a span of two-and-a-half years,” KTR said.

He said that the State government had a good challenge or problem of resetting its target since they would be achieving their Rs 100 billion target set for 2030 in 2025 itself, five years ahead of schedule.

The Minister announced that buoyed by the phenomenal growth in the last two years, the Telangana Government had revised its ambitions to scale up its life sciences ecosystem valuation target for 2030 to USD 250 billion. “It’s audacious and ambitious but it is imminently doable,” the Minister asserted.

Referring to the multiple advantages of Hyderabad which have made the city a vaccine capital, among many others, he said that, today, Hyderabad accounts for 35 percent of world’s total vaccine production. “Nine billion doses of vaccines are produced from Hyderabad. Come next year, with all the expansion (plans) of Bharat (Biotech), Biological E, Sinofi and others, happening in the city, the combined production from Hyderabad would go up to almost 14 billion doses by the end of next year (2024). That will be 50 percent of the world’s vaccine production coming from one single location, that is Hyderabad,” he said.

KTR said that besides being a vaccine capital and producing a bulk of India’s pharmaceuticals, Telangana also had other advantages as the world’s largest USFDA-approved pharma hub in a province with more than 200 facilities. The state also boasts of a Medical Devices Park which was started in Sultanpur near Patancheru, he said.

“We already have a stent manufacturing facility in a single largest location inside the Medical devices Park. This is the brilliant Life Sciences story of Hyderabad. Now, we need to consolidate and start looking for newer opportunities,” he said.

Stating that the Hyderabad Pharma City – world’s largest cluster – was also on the anvil, he said that, once it came through the last leg of court verdicts, would attract more than USD 8 billion investment. The Minister also claimed that the single pharma cluster would create more than 5,00,000 jobs.

Also outlining his government’s plans to expand the Genome Valley and the Medical Devices Park, KTR exuded the confidence that his Government’s life sciences ecosystem valuation target of USD 250 billion by 2030 was imminently doable.

Besides the life sciences sector, the Minister also singled out technology as another ‘strong suit’ of Telangana’s multiple advantage areas. Speaking about how startups have been able to grow rapidly, he referred to the success stories of Marut Drones, SkyRoot and Dhruva, which he said had been charting hitherto unknown terrains.

“Nobody ever thought space tech in India would be talked about with optimism. But today, we have two Hyderabad startups – SkyRoot, which sent a private rocket into space successfully on its first attempt, and Dhruva, which has sent nano satellites into space in a thybault mission and placed them in orbit. Maruth is redefining the whole drone space,” he said.

The Minister also gave a list of world’s largest multinational and information technology companies which have their largest or second largest bases in Hyderabad like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Meta, Uber and Salesforce.

Linking up Holi, the festival of colours, with the various hues of initiatives in Telangana, KTR said that the BRS Government had ushered in five revolutions: Green (agricultural production), Blue (fisheries), Pink (meat products), White (milk and milk products) and Yellow (oil palm).

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