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NRIs? thumbs up for MP

THEY MAY not have pledged a single paisa for the State?s industrial development in the recent past, but NRIs and some Indian industrialists, who participated in the recent Investors? Meet in Khajuraho, sounded quite optimistic about Madhya Pradesh shedding the BIMARU stigma soon.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2007 12:00 IST

THEY MAY not have pledged a single paisa for the State’s industrial development in the recent past, but NRIs and some Indian industrialists, who participated in the recent Investors’ Meet in Khajuraho, sounded quite optimistic about Madhya Pradesh shedding the BIMARU stigma soon.

“Madhya Pradesh could rise above the BIMARU category in five years, but to that end the State Government needs to work more pragmatically on its policies”, remarked Rakesh K Sharma, partner of Romagnino-Kumar Associates, Canada, and chairman of Indian Community in Canada.

Bangalore-based investor Dr T N Gautam Reddy feels that CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s proactive approach would be instrumental in makeover.

“Given its dismal record on human development indices, MP needs to work more honestly for progress”, he observed.
Malaysia-based Vinaya Shetty was of the view that the way India is progressing no part of the country could be branded BIMARU any more. 

However, facts state a different story. According to Economic Review of MP – 2005-06, Madhya Pradesh stands second in terms of area, seventh in population and 24th in literacy rate.  Its per capita Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) at current prices is Rs 14,069 as compared to national average of Rs 20,989.

The growth registered in overall NSDP category for MP is 3.3 per cent whereas Maharashtra stands at 4.63 per cent, Gujarat 5.06 per cent and Rajasthan 3.09 per cent.    Perhaps this scenario has prompted the Chief Minister to focus more on investments.

“I admit that the growth rate of MP is much below the national average, still we’ve set our target at 15%,” he told Hindustan Times. “Development should percolate down to common man. Growth can’t be achieved through agriculture alone. Trade and industry also need to be developed”, added Chouhan.

State Planning Board vice-chairman Dr Sompal Shastri said the term BIMARU was to describe a laggard state but no standard sets exist to measure it.

“Sickness refers to two aspects - ailing economy and ailing governance. In MP, there’s a visible change in governance, as it is improving. 

“The term BIMARU shouldn’t be used. If the State is sick, there is need is to take corrective measures without pondering over it,” says Singapore-based CEO Dr M Naach.

Echoing similar sentiments, Australian Trade Commission’s representative Chandru Iyer opined that awareness on such stigma should not be unduly created, which might otherwise have a negative impact on the State.
dghose@hindustantimes.com