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Nitish to woo investors

Patna, Dec. 9: Chief minister Nitish Kumar would project Bihar as an “investment destination” to woo investors at a business conclave scheduled to be held in Calcutta this Friday.

“The chief minister has been invited to the event. He would highlight the positive points of the state before the investors,” a source in the CM secretariat told The Telegraph.

The source said the chief minister would mainly portray the availability of a big market and plenty of human resource in the state. He would also dwell on the improved law and order situation in Bihar.

Nitish would assure the prospective investors of a congenial working environment in the state. He would also promise them of all possible help under his government’s existing policies.

The source pointed out that the chief minister might use the platform to inform the industry tycoons that the state government was taking several steps to make Bihar a power surplus state in the next three years.

Though Nitish would try to project the positive aspects of the state in a big way at the event, those in the know of ground realities feel that the promotion of Bihar as an “investment destination” would not be of much help unless the state government took some concrete steps to boost the industrial sector.

“Unavailability of land, power and natural resources are the three major roadblocks for prospective investors. The situation will not change much unless steps are taken to provide land to investors and generate adequate power for the industries,” industrialist Satyajit Kumar said, adding that Bihar’s agriculture sector had not yet reached the stage where surplus agricultural produce could be used as raw material for big food processing units.

He said the state government would also have to strengthen its policy execution machinery, which was still not very friendly from the investors’ point of view.

In the seven years of the NDA rule in Bihar, only about Rs 900 crore has been invested in the industry sector. Of it, just a little over Rs 100 crore has been invested by industrialists from the other states.

Business apart, Nitish’s proposed visit to Calcutta would be his first to Bengal after the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul Congress came to power in the neighbouring state. He is said to have a very cordial relationship with Mamata despite she being a member of a different alliance for quite some time.

Speculation is rife in political circles in Bihar on whether the Bihar chief minister would use the visit to open a dialogue with Mamata, who too is scheduled to take part in the event, to bring her to the NDA fold ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.

“Dialogues are a part of politics but we do not know if the chief minister would use his Calcutta visit to open a dialogue with Mamata on the behalf of the NDA,” a JD(U) functionary, who refused to be named, said.


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