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Status cry at trade fair
Industries minister lauds Bihar investment picture

Chief minister Nitish Kumar’s special status plea resonated at the India International Trade Fair (IITF), 2012, in New Delhi on Friday.

On Bihar’s day at IITF, industries and disaster management minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha reeled out key features of the State Industrial Incentive (Promotion) Policy, 2011, to attract investors, while reiterating Nitish’s stand that Bihar cannot achieve desired growth without a special package.

“We have come up with an industrial policy that is probably the most investor-friendly in the country. However, we are starting from scratch and our financial and natural resources are grossly inadequate. We will take decades to make a mark on the industrial map of the country. This can, however, be attained in a very short span of time if we are given the special package,” said the minister.

She, however, mentioned the achievements made by Nitish’s government saying that Rs 5,021.14 crore had been invested in the state since 2006 when the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) was established.

“SIPB has approved 939 investment proposals worth Rs 3 lakh crore till date, of which 90 units have already started production. However, the reality remains that we are struggling to find any big investors, as the state has not been seen as a desired investment destination owing to law and order issues, lack of proper infrastructure and shortage of power. That mindset is slowly changing because of the present government, but we cannot turn the state into Gujarat or Haryana overnight,” said the minister.

Industries department principal secretary Naveen Verma said in the past seven to eight months, the state has been able to attract investments worth Rs 100 crore every month on an average.

A massive stall put up by the industries department at the pavilion, advertises incentives offered to industrialists who propose to invest in food processing, agro industries, tourism, super-specialty hospitals, higher and technical education institutions, information technology, textile, and energy and renewable energy.

State resident commissioner Suneel Barthwal said the Bihar pavilion, despite having a smaller area, had been witnessing good footfall and sale at various stalls, which is a sign of the changing mindset towards Bihar.

“We will demand for a bigger area from next year, as we need to have more space for such a huge crowd,” Barthwal said.