The Telegraph
Saturday , July 5 , 2014
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Roadshow plan to woo investors

The industries department would hold a series of roadshows in the state and outside to woo investors to two private industrial areas.

The State Investments Promotion Board (SIBP) approved these private industrial areas areas eight months ago and a roadshow was held earlier this month on the premises of the Bihar Industries Association (BIA). But nobody has formally stepped into them. The series of roadshows being planned now seem like a desperate effort to spread word about the private industrial areas.

At the first roadshow in which local industrialists took part, questions were raised over land rates and also the lease agreement. “According to policy, land at PIA would be given to industrialists on a 30-year lease. Industries are objecting to this but a debate is on. These issues will come up during roadshows and the government will have to tackle them,” a department official told The Telegraph.

Anil Kumar Thakur, chief executive officer of Udyog Mitra, an industries department wing that works towards tapping potential investors and helping them, said: “The need to hold roadshows or meetings to popularise the idea of private industrial areas is important. The department has held detailed meetings in this regard and it has been decided that every month would see at least 12-13 roadshows, all centred around private industrial areas. The idea needs to be spread so that potential investors know about it and check it out.”

He said the roadshows would be made more intensive and frequent in the coming days. The SIPB has given its nod to two private industrial areas — Ram Chatradhaari Industrial Area Private Limited in Mokama on Patna’s outskirts and Vaishali Industrial Park Private Limited at Mahua in Vaishali district. The area in Mokama is spread over 40 acres and the one in Mahua over 100 acres. According to Private Industrial Area Policy, a private industrial area can come up over an area of not less than 25 acres.

“Those associated with the private industrial area at Mokama have also been undertaking trips. They were recently in Pune’s Magarpatta city to see the place and understand how a PIA can be developed and the options before them. Some companies like Videocon have made enquiries about the private industrial areas here but none has committed to setting shop. The only hope before the state, struggling for land, is in the form of private industrial areas. There is talk about other ways to get land but private industrial areas seem to be the only way to rope in potential investors. In such a scenario, the department has to step up and do whatever it can to advertise it properly. Though a decision has been taken to hold frequent roadshows, it should have been started long ago,” an industrialist said.

Department officials said they would organise roadshows in many districts of the state and in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and other cities in Bengal and south India.

According to the department’s decision, the private industrial areas will be handed over to a project management committee, which will plan development of the area and also bring investors. But the state government is yet to appoint a project management agency for the private industrial areas. Though the work is on, delays like this will add to the problems, a department official said.

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