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Nod to set up industry cabinet

The cabinet on Tuesday gave its nod for setting up “industry cabinet” on the lines of “agriculture cabinet” to spur all-round industrial growth and facilitate private investment.

“The industry cabinet has been set up with a view to developing industries besides identifying the obstacles in setting up units in the state. It would review the rules, policy, business regulation too to spur industrial growth,” cabinet department principal secretary Brajesh Mehrotra told reporters in Patna.

The industry cabinet, comprising 17 departments, would be headed by the chief minister while the chief secretary would be its secretary, Mehrotra said.

The 17 departments of industry cabinet are — industries, revenue and land reforms, finance, commercial taxes, labour resources, energy, environment and forest, urban development and housing, registration, excise and prohibition, planning and development, road construction, PHED, information technology, mines and geology, sugarcane, agriculture and tourism.

These departments would be represented by their ministers during the industry cabinet committee meeting.

If necessary, other departments could be invited at the industry cabinet meeting. This would be the third cabinet committee. Earlier, the state government had constituted cabinet committees on agriculture and human development mission.

A total of 17 government departments have been made part of the agriculture cabinet whereas human development cabinet committee comprises more than 12 departments.

The objectives of the cabinet committee would be to review rules and policies of various departments in order to promote industries in the state. It would extend direction for giving necessary guidelines for giving clearances and suggestions for setting up industries besides reviewing the obstacles coming in the way for setting up industries. It would resolve the problem and direct the department concerned accordingly.

It would review the rules, policy, business regulation to promote investments in the state and give necessary directions to make them industry friendly. It would also review all types necessary clearances on investment proposals coming through single window.

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bihar state council chairman Satyajit Kumar said: “We have seen the outcome of agriculture cabinet. Has it helped in increasing the agriculture production in the state? The outcome of agri cabinet was not encouraging so I am not very hopeful of industry cabinet.” He, however, suggested setting up of investment commission for looking into the problems plaguing the industries.

Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industry president P.K. Agrwal said: “It is a welcome step. We have been demanding it for quite long time. It would send a right message among entrepreneurs.

In another important decision, the cabinet also decided to extend free treatment to all retired government employees at all government hospitals in the state. The move would benefit around 1.25 lakh retired government employees, Mehrotra said.