Bihar can turn the corner, says India Inc

New Delhi, Nov 22 | Updated: Nov 23 2005, 06:31am hrs
India Inc is hoping that the new government in Bihar will focus on infrastructure development and restoring law and order. The change of guard is expected to turn around the state economy, which was has seen few big-ticket corporate investments during the last decade.

Between 1994 and 2004, Bihar attracted foreign direct investment of just Rs 740 crore as compared to Gujarat (Rs 13,745 crore) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs 19,000 crore). Percentage of population below poverty line in Bihar stands at 42.6% compared to the all-India average of 26%.

Ficci secretary-general Amit Mitra said, The new government should focus on primarily three things law and order, electricity and infrastructure. Fear of being kidnapped should vanish from the minds of businessmen investing in Bihar.

There should be pockets with uninterrupted power supply, to enable industrial development.

Also, the government should focus on connectivity and infrastructure to let the businessman evacuate his goods or raw material.

Exports from Bihar are virtually non-existent. Investment in EOUs (export oriented units) between 1993 and 2003 stood at only Rs 17 crore. EOUs in AP and Karnataka, on the contrary, attracted Rs 42,440 crore and Rs 58,397 crore, respectively, during the period.

Assocham secretary general DS Rawat said, Assocham has expressed its hope that the new government in Bihar will ensure its industrial development, particularly in the infrastructure sector and come out with a policy that will be industry friendly and will develop EOUs in the state.

PHDCCI President, KN Memani said, We think this is a victory for the democracy. Going forward we hope that developmental work will be renewed with vigour now that the issue of governance is resolved.

Fortis Healthcare chairman Harpal Singh said, I am glad the uncertainty has ended and the electoral process has thrown up a decisive winner. I also hope that the development of Bihar will now gain speed.

Bihars per capita income stands at Rs 6015 as compared to APs (Rs 17,642) Punjab(Rs 25,515) and Delhi(Rs 47,477).