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Just invest, says minister

Bihar industries minister Renu Kumari today urged entrepreneurs to tap the immense opportunities of investment in “greenfield” Bihar which offers a huge market with a population of over 10 crore.

While addressing a gathering of businessmen and investors at an event to mark the state day at the ongoing India International Trade Fair, she said Bihar offers enormous opportunity for establishment of food processing industries.

“There is a severe dearth of primary processing industries in the state due to which agriculture produce, including paddy, is taken to other states for processing. Investors should benefit from the friendly policies that we have made and come to our state,” she said.

“We have come up with an industrial policy that is probably the most investor friendly in the country. But given the fact that we are starting from scratch and our financial and natural resources are grossly inadequate, it will take some time before we are on a par with developed states,” Renu Kumari added.

Officials pointed out that Bihar is a landlocked state having fertile land and it cannot be compared with states having a seashore and fallow land which could be made easily available for establishment of industries.

“Bihar with its historical and religious heritage has huge potential for development of the tourism industry. The flow of domestic tourists to Bihar has increased to two crore and flow of foreign tourists, according to central government figures, had reached nine lakh. Besides, there are opportunities of investment in the hospitality, tourism and education sectors,” principal secretary (industries) Naveen Verma said.

Verma also reeled out the names of some companies — Britannia, Parle, Priya Gold biscuits etc — which have set up their units in the state. He said investors were ready to put in their money in industries like cement and sugarcane.

This year, apart from showcasing art, culture and food from the state, Bihar has given special emphasis on “inclusive growth” — showcasing its traditional as well as emerging sectors. Several stalls announcing incentives for attracting prospective investors have been set up at the annual fair which started on November 14 and will continue till November 27.

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