Bihar can expect a sweet treat from Brazil.
“The India-Brazil Chamber of Commerce has proposed to set up a sugar mill in Bihar. The proposal came during the recently concluded three-day Pra- vasi Bhartiya Divas in Kochi, much to the satisfaction of the Bihar government,” a senior industries department officer said.
Naveen Verma, the principal secretary of the department, also confirmed the development.
“The proposal has come from the India-Brazil Chamber of Commerce and the state government will pursue the matter. We will be in touch with them and the pro- ject details will be decided soon. I cannot divulge more details now,” he told The Telegraph.
Brazil, along with countries like India, China, Thailand and Pakistan, is one of the largest producers of sugar in the world.
The India-Brazil Chamber of Commerce was set up in November 2003 and is connected to the Consulate of India in Minas Gerais. It is a non-profit civil society aimed at strengthening cultural, social and trade relations between the two countries.
In Bihar, the proposed investment after the expansion plan of at least 10 sugar mills lies around Rs 956 crore.
Similarly, there is a proposal to set up three ethanol plants from working sugar mills with a proposed investment of around Rs 150 crore, sources in the industries department said.
The last meeting of the State Investment Promotion Board earlier this month saw approval for 28 sugar mills at a proposed investment of Rs 6,500 crore. At present, there are just 10 sugar mills operating in the state, bringing an actual investment of Rs 802 crore.
An industry department official said presentations by the industrialists from Bihar during the conclave, which ended on January 9, drew a lot of crowd.
“Our participation was a grand success. This time, our industrialists spoke about the state’s growth story and opportunities. This was appreciated by many people, mostly the People of Indian Origin (PIO) in countries like Mauritius and Guinea,” the official said.
“In fact, we were the most heard of after Gujarat. Our pavilion attracted a lot of crowd. Many people visited our stall and wanted to know about our state and the investment opportunities,” he added.
Verma, too, said the PIOs were hopeful about the state.
“There was a Canadian delegation led by Asha Seth. She was quite interested and spoke about the state. We had Anil Sharma, the chairman of Amrapali Foods, talking about the opportunities in the state. The experience at the meeting has been very good and the state received a positive response,” he added.
The conference was held at Hotel Le Meridian in Kochi. Its theme was “Engaging Diaspora: The Indian Gro- wth Story”.