Bihar at take-off stage, says India Inc
PATNA: Time was opportune for the industrialization of Bihar to take off as the atmosphere required for investment in the state was already in place and only a few more things remained to be done, felt some of the top honchos of India Inc who huddled here on Saturday.
The occasion was the first meeting of the newly-constituted Bihar State Industrial Investment Advisory Council, chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The focal point of discussion was power, and as Infosys and ICICI Bank chairman K V Kamath said, the corporate houses were ready to support the government in development of power sector. “We are ready to invest in power sector,” HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh also said.
The members of the Council who attended the brainstorming meeting included Kamath, Parekh, SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, Axis Bank MD and CEO Shikha Sharma, Hindustan Unilever MD and CEO Nitin Pranjape, Tata Sons director, finance, Ishaat Husain, Max New York Life MD Analjit Singh, Sebi chairman U K Sinha, Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Kumar Agrawal, Asia-Pacific Boston Consulting Group chairman Janmajaya Sinha, emeritus- professor of NIPFP Sudipto Mundle apart from CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee, ITC executive director Kurush Grant and Britannia Industries MD Vinita Bali.
While Analjit Singh announced to open a world-class, 300-bed hospital in Patna at a cost of Rs 350 crore, Shikha Sharma of Axis Bank promised loan to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore. HDFC chairman Parekh stressed on developing housing schemes, saying housing prices have become unaffordable here. Kamath’s focus was on value addition in agriculture, rural development and infrastructure, particularly in road sector.
The members of the Council seriously took the words of the CM who assured them that by 2015 Bihar will have surplus power. Kamath announced that the next meeting of the Council will be held after two months.
The CM emphasized the need for taking benefit of their experience in providing skill development and creating job opportunities in Bihar. “The purpose of this Council is not to expect individual participants to make commitments of investment on behalf of their respective organizations but it has a larger purpose of continuously engaging the industry leaders, economists and consultants to help draw a plan for the state’s development and regularly review it,” he said.
The industry leaders pledged their full cooperation in the development of Bihar and promised they would be much more intensively engaged in expanding the activities of their respective organizations in Bihar than in the past. They also expressed hope that the creation of the office of investment commissioner in Mumbai would make it easy to get various clearances related to investment proposals and provide guidance on various aspects, including policy issues.