Urging industrialists to pitch in their lot for the grant of special category state status, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that the issue, once taken to its logical conclusion, would not only open the gates for growth and rapid expansion but also help the government in having more funds at its disposal for deployment in state plan.
Kumar, who was speaking at the 68th annual function of the Bihar Industries Association, (BIA) said, "Even if we continue to maintain the present growth rate, it will take at least 25 years to reach the national average. We need special treatment that is at least equal to the distance at which we stand in relation to national average".
The state is 60% behind the national average, he said, adding, "Even if there is a need to relax the parameters, it must be done to meet the demands of inclusive growth. Unless, Bihar gets its due, the whole exercise of ushering inclusive growth would be rendered meaningless".
People of the state have understood the benefits special category state status. "You will be the direct beneficiaries through tax holidays," he said and asked, "Why are you taking time in cozying up to the idea and not supporting it aggressively?"
The government is also open to new ideas and has designated every fifth Monday for listening to the problems faced by trade and industry. "I have asked the chief secretary to devise a mechanism for monitoring the progress of state investment promotion board (SIPB) approved projects," he said.
Expressing his satisfaction over BIA's continued SWOT analysis of the state, Kumar said an investment advisory council has also been constituted for suggesting improvements in policy framework. He said, "As for the proposal for private industrial estate, measures should be incorporated for creating a perpetual stake for the man whose land is being acquired".
Chief minister also took up the issue of energy crisis. "My stand is clear, I will not seek votes if I am unable to find a solution. But something takes time and there are discreet hurdles. We are slowly preparing for the future and power purchase agreement for 1000 MW after 2014 has already been signed," he said adding, "Things are looking up with each passing day".
Lord Karan Billimoria said the state had a role in giving wings to entrepreneurial dream. "In UK, government guarantees 85% of the loans extended by banks," he said, adding, "This shows how much a government can help". "I am happy to be the first multinational company to set shop in changing Bihar. And though my company is in brewery business, brewing also creates jobs in the supply chain. We can also encourage farmers to grow barley," he said.
BIA president KPS Keshri, in his welcome address, drew governmentfs attention towards issues faced by the industry. Industries minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha also urged the industrialists to join government's endeavour, which was a panacea to all problems.