Growth push with reality check Rs 60-cr Godrej plant in Hajipur

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 20.05.12
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Patna, May 19: Investments continue to trickle into the state, with the Godrej group today joining the bandwagon.

Group chairman Adi Godrej, on his maiden visit to Bihar, announced that his conglomerate would make an investment of Rs 60 crore for setting up an animal feed plant at Hajipur with an annual capacity to produce 2.5 lakh tonnes. The plant would produce high quality animal feed for cattle, poultry, fish etc.

Godrej, the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), heaped praise on the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government for achieving the feat of “fastest growing state” in the 2011-12 fiscal.

But like several industrialists before him, he detailed the grim realities and enumerated lack of power, infrastructure and land as major problem areas in attracting big ticket investments.

Godrej’s announcement of investment of Rs 60 crore is the third in recent months. Cobra Beer chairman Lord Karan Bilimoria has set up a brewery at Bihta at a cost of Rs 40 crore. Raymond Limited chairman-cum-managing director Gautam Hari Singhania on May 15 inaugurated a tailoring training centre on the ITI campus in Digha, also with an investment of Rs 40 crore.

Godrej advised the state to be patient. “There will not be huge investments overnight. Bihar is moving in the right direction, it has been able to provide good governance. Though its past history has not encouraged industrialisation in Bihar, but now its image has changed in terms of providing good governance and growth,” the veteran industrialist said.

He went on to detail the challenges the state has been facing in attracting investments. “Infrastructure and power are problem areas in Bihar besides land. It is a fact though that Bihar is a very densely populated state and hence land has become a difficult issue but that can be worked out,” he said.

Godrej said Bihar, the third most populated state, is a priority area for CII owing to its large market.

He praised the government for providing all help in acquiring land. “My managing director has told me that facilitation — in providing land and other issues — on part of the Bihar government was excellent. If that is done (providing better facilitation), investments can be attracted,” Godrej said.

He later met Nitish at his 1 Aney Marg residence in the evening. The chief minister, during his meeting with CII delegation, said Bihar has implemented the single-window system and industrial incentive policy of 2011 to attract investments besides developing infrastructure. The government has been providing land for setting up industries in the state, Nitish said, while appealing to CII to get master trainers for carrying out skill development programmes.

Godrej also met deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who is also chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers on Goods and Services Tax (GST). “Big reforms would help revive the GDP growth rate. Early introduction of GST could add two per cent growth rate,” the industrialist said.