UK-bound to tap investors

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  • Published 21.09.14

Patna, Sept. 20: Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi left Patna on Saturday on his way to London where he will attend the annual conference of International Growth Centre (IGC) at the London School of Economics (LSE).

He will be there from September 21 to September 26. “The objective of my London visit is to attract foreign investors to Bihar. The state government would provide all kind of facilities to investors,” Manjhi told reporters at Patna airport after returning from Nalanda University’s inaugural on Friday evening.

The chief minister took an evening flight to Delhi on Saturday and is to take a morning flight to London on Sunday. He is going there on the IGC’s invitation. On Monday he would deliver a lecture on “The Bihar Story — Resurrection of the State Inclusion and Growth” at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Accompanying him are senior officials, including chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, cabinet secretariat department’s principal secretary Brajesh Mehrotra, finance department principal secretary Rameshwar Singh, chief minister’s principal secretary Dipak Kumar and chief minister’s secretary Sanjay Kumar Singh. No cabinet colleague is accompanying him, a departure from the past.Then deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary have attended earlier IGC conferences.

IGC, which offers independent advice to governments of developing countries on economic growth and related issues, is based at LSE in partnership with the Oxford University. The Department For International Development funds it. The centre launched IGC India Bihar programme five years back after the state government invited it to help sustain its economic growth.

Water-logged city

Manjhi leaves behind a waterlogged Patna. Just last month he had made urban development and housing minister Samrat Choudhary cancel his weeklong tour to UK after heavy rains for three consecutive days inundated the city.

Samrat was to leave for UK on August 15 to study solid waste management, sewerage treatment plants and town planning practices. Manjhi had then told reporters: “He (Samrat) should not go outside the country when Patna is battling waterlogging in majority areas for the past many days.” Reacting to Manjhi’s tour now, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav told The Telegraph: “Par updesh kushal bahutere (People like to preach, but it is advisable they practice what they preach.”

BJP’s state vice-president Sanjay Mayukh said while the people are in hell, the government would be in London.

Unlike Nitish

Manjhi’s visit is a departure from Nitish Kumar’s ways. Nitish visited countries like China, Bhutan and Pakistan to boost cultural and trade ties, especially Pakistan whose culture and lifestyle are similar to India’s, a JDU leader said. He avoided western countries in keeping with his “policy” that a visit at public cost should be aimed at deriving meaningful results, the leader said.