Patna, Sept. 4: A Calcutta-based company has decided to set up a biscuit manufacturing unit close to the state capital, bringing some cheer to a state that is starved of big-ticket projects.
Raja Biscuit Industries Pvt Ltd will invest about Rs 100 crore to set up the unit on five acres of land at Maner, around 20km west of Patna. The company already runs units in Calcutta and Hardwar (Uttaranchal).
Raja Biscuit director Kamal Kothari said the company decided to invest in Bihar because of the improved business climate in the state.
“We have decided to make an investment in Bihar as the state is fit for our business. In recent years, a lot of good things have happened under the regime of chief minister Nitish Kumar. The investment of Rs 100 crore will also bring employment to around 1,500 persons in the state,” Kothari told The Telegraph.
The unit is expected to start operations by the end of next year.
“We have seen the land at Maner. Only documentation is left, hopefully by next month the work will begin. The unit is likely to be operational by December 2013. This unit will have the capacity to produce 25,200 tonnes of biscuit per annum,” Kothari said.
Four biscuit units have already made investments worth Rs 125 crore in Bihar. While three are located in Hajipur, one is in Muzaffarpur.
Loknath Prasad Gupta, another director of Raja Biscuit, said besides the improved law and order, the company decided to invest in Bihar because of the cheaper raw material cost. “At present, we are exporting our biscuits to Bihar. However, once the unit is set up, we will save money on transportation,” he said.
Gupta revealed that actor Manoj Tiwari also played a role in getting the company to pick Bihar as an investment destination. “Manoj Tiwari, who is our brand ambassador, suggested that we make an investment in Bihar by opening a biscuit factory,” he said.
Gupta also promised to provide a backward linkage, which would ensure that the major raw materials are supplied by local players. This would particularly benefit flour mills in the state.
For setting up any industry, uninterrupted power supply holds the key. Gupta said the company had factored that in. “I know that (power) is a major concern. We will generate our own power by setting up a husk power system which will supply energy to the unit,” he said.
Land for the project has been provided by Udhyam Vihar, a private company that provides land for small scale industry.
“Raja Biscuit has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with us and has also given the token amount. This is our 28th project for which we have provided land for industry. We are happy to be part of this investment,” Vinay Tiwari, chairman and managing director of Udhyam Vihar, said.
Industry minister Renu Kumari was upbeat. “Bihar is becoming a favourite place for investors. We are giving all possible support to them,” the minister said.