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Lesi focus on water drops to fill trade tap

Patna, May 21: Small or big, the government would focus on all kinds of investment enough to fill a water pot.

Industries minister Lesi Singh is following the mantra of former chief minister Nitish Kumar so far as investments are concerned. Last year, he had spoken of the importance of small investments in the state. He added that small investments were like drops of water that would eventually fill up a pot.

Lesi, who was sworn in as the industries and disaster management minister in Jitan Ram Manjhi’s cabinet on Tuesday, said land availability for industrialists would be among her top priorities.

Acknowledging that first, she needed to study things closely and then take decisions, Lesi added that she would hold meetings with industries officials in a couple of days.

Lesi, a Rajput representing the Dhamdaha Assembly segment, was inducted in Nitish Kumar’s cabinet on March 11. It was necessitated because of Renu Kushwaha’s resignation. The former industries minister resigned because the JD(U) did not consider her husband, Vijay Kumar Singh, for the Khagaria Lok Sabha seat. He later joined the BJP.

Lesi told The Telegraph: “I am sure investments would come to the state. From small to big investments, all kinds are important and the department would strive for the same. I had joined as an industries minister just before the general election at a time when the model code of conduct was in effect. Though I had a brief meeting with the department officials, one couldn’t do much because of the elections. But now, things have settled down and it is time to work hard. The department would be doing a lot of thinking before coming up with a well-set plan aiming at attracting all kinds of investment.”

During a meeting of state-level bankers’ committee on November 13 last year, Nitish had accepted for the first time that the state was not getting big-ticket investments. He was, however, hopeful and said small investments were welcome in the state. He said these were water droplets, which would eventually fill a pot.

The industries department has launched some initiatives to get land but the policies are not in a good shape at present. The “Aao Bihar” initiative has been revived but would still take time to gain in pace. The exit policy has also been a flop, while the private industrial area policy is yet to garner results.

On Tuesday, many industrialists and industry bodies said the state’s political instability was dangerous for investments. Industrialists, they said, would shy away from Bihar in the current situation.