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Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times
London, March 17, 2014
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi came in for fulsome praise from speakers at the Economic Forum for India at the London School of Economics on Saturday.
 
Lord Karan Bilimoria, prominent British entrepreneur of Indian origin who has set up a brewery in Bihar, said Kumar had done a "fantastic job" to generate growth in the state. Bihar, he said, had changed in the last seven years and he was happy to invest in The state despite advice to the contrary.
 
Nasser Munjee, noted banker, said Gujarat under Modi had done a "phenomenal job" in infrastructure, but added that social indicators in the state were not as good as the achievements in infrastructure.
 
Accoridng to Munjee, there has been a "massive slowdown" in growth in India in recent years. He said lot of infrastructure work had been done by the Atal Behari Vajpayee government, and regretted that after 2004, "there has not been a single new intellectual idea in the area of infrastructure".
 
Opening the inaugural Economic Forum for India at LSE, Indian high commissioner Ranjan Mathai said there had been a "slowdown" in infrastructure projects and implementation had been mired in slow processes in recent years.
 
However, Mathai painted an optimistic scenario for Indian economy and said lot of efforts were being made to overcome policy paralysis.