Investment hope in run-up

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By NALIN VERMA in Patna
  • Published 16.01.07
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Patna, Jan. 16: By opening a technical institute in homeland Katihar in December 2005, days after the Nitish Kumar government came to power, Ravi Verma showed other NRIs from Bihar the potential the state had.

“This time I am coming with a proposal to set up a modern engineering college in Bihar,” Verma, the CEO of California-based Telecommand Software and Services, told The Telegraph over phone. He was referring to the global meet that would be held in the capital from January 19 and how people like him were “eager to invest in the state and keep their link with their motherland alive”.

His institute, RS College of Computer Science and Engineering, “is doing well”, says the IIT Kanpur graduate. “There is no reason why other initiatives and ventures will not flourish in the state,” he adds.

Other “key figures” who will grace the three-day event include R. Narayan, a Manchester-based cardiologist, and Ramesh Yadav, who runs a chain of hotels in the US. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has reportedly agreed to attend the meet.

“Narayan is another NRI who is coming with a proposal to set up a network of medical centres in the state to provide free and specialised treatment to cardiac patients,” said Ajay Kumar, CEO of the Bihar-specific portal which is organising the event along with Institute for Human Development.

Yadav, though from Haryana, has visited Bihar a number of times in the past decade as his wife belongs to Patna. “This time I will put forward a definitive proposal to set up hotel projects in the state,” said the NRI.

Speaking on the “improved situation” in Bihar, another NRI said: “A corrupt bureaucracy, poor law and order and inadequate infrastructure have been the main obstacles for the homeland-loving non-resident Biharis so far. But things seem to have improved of late.”

Verma has played a key role in initiating the process of investment in Bihar and has put forward a “six-point formula” for the Indian diaspora to go ahead with setting up shop in the eastern state.

With the President agreeing to grace the event and chief minister Nitish Kumar taking keen interest to make it a success, there is no dearth of enthusiasm in the run-up to the global meet.