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18 months is all Nitish wants

Bihar as an investor's paradise - you may smirk at it, but the state government believes it is possible, in just 18 months.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 01:16 IST

Bihar as an investor's paradise - you may smirk at it, but the state government believes it is possible, in just 18 months. And it will try selling the idea to potential investors at the "Pravasi Samellan", which starts from January 7 at Hyderabad.

As proof of its seriousness, the government has already brought in several legal, procedural and fiscal reforms that will make things easier for the investors. The cabinet has also approved creation of a State Investment Promotion Board, which will function as a single window for getting, vetting and recommending investment proposals. The investors will no longer have to seek clearance from different departments.

"We have been told how poor Bihar is in its image and infrastructure. Yes we have floods, bad roads and so on. But within 18 months, the scenario will change," Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told HT.

The government has also drawn up a plan to woo investors: give concessions to consolidate core strength areas like agro-industries and also explore new sectors like IT, biotechnology and BPO.

While incentives are to be given to woo investments in agro-processing, light engineering, electronics, repair and servicing and garments sectors, the IT industry has been put on the list for exemptions.

As for the infrastructure, directives have been issued to complete all national highway projects within 18 months and also create dry docks at Patna and Bhagalpur. There is also a proposal to build an air-cargo complex at Bihta.

"We are prepared to revise and simplify the rules, regulations and procedures to remove bottlenecks in the way of realising modern infrastructure," the chief minister said.

And he tells you it's not a dream.

(To be concluded)

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 01:16 IST