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Expert tips to boost industry, tourism

Patna, Sept. 13: The state government will learn how to improve infrastructure from Infosys chairperson K.V. Kamath this Saturday.

He would give a 15-minute presentation during the first meeting of Bihar State Industrial Investment and Advisory Council.

The document prepared by the industries department regarding the details of the first meeting of the council is in possession of The Telegraph.

The state government has set up the council to promote industries and investment in the state. The chief minister is its chairperson. There are seven other members from the government. The remaining 15 members are from corporate and academic worlds. Kamath, who also held the top post of ICICI Bank from 1996 to 2009, is one among them.

“Our past achievements notwithstanding, we are always open to new ideas which can expedite development work,” road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav said, while reacting to a query about the benefit he was expecting from the presentation.

Bihar has witnessed a marked improvement in the condition of roads over the past six years. There has been large-scale construction of roads — 8,000km of major district roads and 3,500km of state highways. Around 1,400km of national highways have been repaired using state funds of around Rs 1,000 crore.

Energy minister Bijendra Yadav echoed his cabinet colleague and said: “From this presentation, we shall try to find out what could be of use to us in improving the energy sector of the state.”

Power shortage in Bihar is considered to be a major handicap in attracting private investment and industrialisation.

Another expert from the corporate world, Janmejaya Sinha, chairperson, Boston Consulting Group, Asia-Pacific, is going to give tips for developing Bihar as a tourism destination.

“Senior officers of the tourism department would take part in the meeting so that they can glean important points from Sinha’s presentation,” said tourism minister Sunil Kumar “Pintu”.

Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), would make a presentation on macro economic picture of the state, the corresponding challenges and approaches to encourage industrialisation.

Other dignitaries at the meeting would be HDFC Bank chairperson Deepak Parekh, Vedanta Resources chairperson Anil Kumar Agrawal and Britannia managing director Vinita Bali. Chief minister Nitish Kumar would host a lunch for them and also address the meet.

Though the state government has invited representatives of Bihar Industries Association, Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Bihar council of CII, there are some who feel that the meeting is not going to be of much help. “How can someone from outside the state give a prescription for the problems facing industries in Bihar?” said industrialist and former chairperson of Bihar council of CII, Satyajit Kumar.

He added that the government should have meetings with its own entrepreneurs who are also major investors.

Economist P.P. Ghosh, however, differed. “People having more exposure at the national and the international levels can suggest ways which have been helpful for other states and would help Bihar as well,” he said.


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