The Telegraph
Monday , April 29 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mini plots to woo investors

- Govt mulls setting up seven industrial units

The state might soon witness an influx of investments as the government is mulling setting up of seven small industrial areas in as many districts.

With no big investments coming in, the move might be the government’s best bet to boost business in the state.

However, Patna — the most sought after location for industrialists — is not in the list owing to paucity of suitable plots. So far, around 50 industrial areas have been set up in the state.

“The seven districts chosen to set up these mini-industrial areas are Begusarai, Buxar, Madhepura, Banka, Nalanda, Lakhisarai and Bhagalpur. According to the initial plan, 30 to 100 acres will be acquired for the plan. There are many investors who have applied for land to Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada) and they are waiting for the same. However, it is difficult to get land in and around Patna and thus the state capital has been kept out of the list,” a senior official of the industries department told The Telegraph.

At present, industrial areas have been set up in the districts of Patna, Hajipur, Gaya, Purnea, Gaya, Darbhanga, Nalanda, Jehanabad and others. According to state government figures, total acquired land for existing industrial areas is more than 5,000 acres.

“These industrial areas vary in size. Some are small — around 60 to 70 acres, while some are big with a size of around 200 acres or more. A majority of investors have been provided with land and there are quite a few who have applied for plots with Biada. Hence, more industrial areas need to be set up. However, the new industrial plots would be smaller in size compared to majority of existing ones,” the official added.

Department officials added that the acquisition process would be completed in a couple of years. Vacant land available with the state government departments in the seven districts would be included.

“At present, the state is not witnessing any big ticket investments. According to the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) report, the number of investments above Rs 500 crore stands at 47. The number of investments upto Rs 10 crore stand at 606, while 255 investments are in the range of Rs 10 crore and Rs 100 crore. The number of approved investments between Rs 100 crore and Rs 500 crore is 107. At present, approved investments rests at 1,141. Big investments require huge plots. But with no huge ventures coming in, there is no need to acquire large acres of land. The stress is on mini industrial areas. Big-ticket investments need power and the state is waiting for the same,” a department source told The Telegraph.

“According to SIPB, the total number of approved investments projects in Nalanda rests at 18. The same in Bhagalpur is 52. The figure goes down to 29 in Begusarai and 23 in Buxar. The figure in Lakhisarai is dismal at nine. In Banka, the number of approved projects stands at 18. It is just two in Madhepura. In Patna, the number of approved projects is 222. In Muzaffarpur, it is 84,” sources added.