The proposal of the Telangana government to develop an industrial corridor along the NH-44 between Hyderabad and Nagpur in Maharashtra has infused hope of resuscitation of the cotton industry in Adilabad. Cotton processing has reached a saturation point in this district and any further development warrants moving towards the establishment of spinning and textile mills, which can be done easily through industrial corridors, say local industrialists.
There are 134 cotton ginning, pressing and cottonseed oil mills in Adilabad district, of which 52 are concentrated in Bhainsa town, which is about 45 km away from the NH-44 and 31 in Adilabad town, which lies adjacent to the four-lane highway. The cumulative turnover of the cotton processing industry in the district is estimated to be over Rs. 5,000 crore though last season it was much lower, owing to several factors.
Adilabad also has scope for development of the ferro-alloy industry given the huge deposits of manganese along the river Penganga. Much of the mining activity is concentrated along the NH-44 at present in Jainad and Adilabad mandals.
The fast growing area under vegetable cultivation, which is by and large concentrated in the mandals of Ichoda, Gudihatnoor and Indervelli along the highway, also provides scope for development of the food processing industry.
A dedicated high-speed freight, as envisaged in the Hyderabad-Nagpur Industrial Corridor (HNIC) will certainly boost industrial growth but will not be enough to attract investment in the given sectors. “We need restructuring of taxes in Telangana for that,” says Telangana Cotton Association honorary president Gade Vinod, himself an industrialist, even as he welcomes the proposal.
“For example, market cess is levied on cottonseed only in Telangana besides Value Added Tax (VAT) on cottonseed and soyabean de-oiled cake. These taxes should be levied on a par with Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh to provide a proper atmosphere for industrialists,” he added.
Adilabad shares much of its border with the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, also a cotton and soyabean rich area, and there is a strong trade bond between the two regions. Much of the cotton produce in Vidarbha was sold in markets in this district until about two years back when an unfavourable business atmosphere resulted in a reverse trend.