The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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10 factories on cards

Patna, April 29: A day after laying of the foundation stone of his sugar factory at Gurwalia in West Champaran district, noted film producer and director Prakash Jha today announced his intentions of setting up 10 more sugar mills in the state.

Jha is known for making unconventional films like Mrityudand, Hip Hip Hurray, Apaharan and Damul. He appears unconventional in his new role as a entrepreneur, too, for he has been embarking on a venture to invest in the sugar sector, when the industry is going through a slump.

“The slump period is the best time to invest in a sector concerned for the equipment, materials and experts can become available on relatively cheaper rate,” Prakash Jha said, adding, “I hope the cycle of slump will be over by the time his units get operational.”

Making a powerpoint presentation before an assembly of as many as 30 bankers as a part of his fund-raising exercise, Jha said: “The change of regime in Bihar has offered the most conducive ambience for investment, particularly in the sugar sector. The growth in the fertile and sugar cane-rich Bihar will offer a panacea to the ills afflicting the farmers in the state.”

“About 80 per cent of people, who are dependant on agriculture, will readily welcome the setting up of sugar factories and other agro-based industries,” he said.

“Bihar can’t invite a major investment in steel and other such industries for it does not have the necessary raw materials like coal and iron ore,” Jha added.

He further said he was planning to invest Rs 3,000 crore in setting up the 10 sugar factories across the state — mainly in north Bihar.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar yesterday laid the foundation stone of Jha’s Maurya Sugar Factory at Gurwalia on the outskirts of Bettiah, the district headquarters of West Champaran.

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