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Panel rejig with policy

- Modi out of industry body

Patna, Nov. 27: The state government on Wednesday reconstituted the Bihar State Industrial Investment Advisory Council striking off the name of BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who was earlier serving as its vice-president.

Also, in a bid to save itself from any more embarrassment, the government, while including senior office-bearers of four industry bodies in the list, have stated that in case of any council meetings, the travelling and lodging expenses these four officials, termed “special invitees”, will be borne by the industries department.

“Modi, while with the alliance, was the vice-president of the council. Now, his name has been removed and replaced by state water resources department minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary. However, he has not been made the vice-president but only a member in the council, which is presided by the chief minister. There are a few additions in the member list also. A category of ‘special invitee’ has been created for four designations — president of Bihar Industries Association, president of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, president of Confederation of Indian Industry and president of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Bihar). During any meeting of the council, the department will pay for their travel and lodging expenses,” a department official said.

The last meeting of the council, which consists of 26 members, including the big wigs across the country, was held in Mumbai on October 19. The council was set up on June 30 last year upon instructions of chief minister Nitish Kumar with the notification for the same taking place on August 1 last year. It first met in Patna on January 25 this year.

Sources told The Telegraph that the government had tasted sour grapes after asking some heads of the industry bodies to pay for themselves following invitation of becoming its delegates on a trip to a trade fair in Germany in October this year.

Senior department officials not available for any comments. Satyajeet Singh, the president of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bihar, welcomed the step. “This is the right way to do things. Even in the last council meeting in Mumbai in which we were invited for the first time, the government did not pay the travel cost and just paid the lodging expense for a day. This should not happen as the government invites us as its representatives,” he said.

Modi said nothing had helped when it comes to industrialisation in Bihar: “There has been investment proposals worth Rs 3 lakh crore but actual investments are just over Rs 5,000 crore.”