The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Koda pledges industry boost

Ranchi, Nov. 24: Chief minister Madhu Koda today reinforced his government’s commitment to industrialisation as he invited entrepreneurs with open arms.

Speaking at the Jharkhand Day celebration at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) in Delhi today, the chief minister said: “New industries will generate employment opportunities for people. I am inviting the entrepreneurs taking part in the IITF to invest in the state. We will render all assistance to them.”

Coal minister Shibu Soren sought to quell the fumes over displacement as he claimed that his ministry had, up its sleeves, plans to rehabilitate the families displaced due to coal mining. “Jharkhand provides coal for practically all thermal power generation units. But there is abject poverty among a large section that lives in the coal mine areas. My ministry is working to improve their condition,” the coal minister said.

The day’s events had several cultural programmes highlighting the art and culture of the state. Deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto and Union food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahay were also present on the occasion.

Unlike previous years, a number of bureaucrats attended the Jharkhand Day celebrations. The industries department had, in fact, issued a communiqué to the deputy commissioners requesting them to take part in the celebrations.

“The good thing was that the ministers refrained from lambasting the previous NDA regime, as they often do on such occasions. They were prudent enough not to wash their dirty linen in public,” an IAS officer, who was present during the event, said.

Earlier in the day, Koda had a brief meeting with UPA chairperson and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi where the chief minister sought her assistance for the development of the state. “We had a fruitful discussion and she assured me to see to it that the Union government takes an active interest in developing the state,” the chief minister said.

Koda also met power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, where he requested Shinde to help speed up projects of rural electrification and allocation of coal blocks to investors. In another meeting with road transport and highways minister T.R. Balu, Koda placed proposals for upgrading NH-33 as a four-lane way linked to the Golden Quadrilateral.

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