Bihar CM seeks special status for state, private investments

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Nitish seeks special status for Bihar
Mumbai, Oct 19: Making a strong pitch for according special status to Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said the state cannot sustain its double-digit growth rate without private investments.

"Bihar's growth is primarily driven by public investment, and till the time we don't have private investment inflows, it will be difficult to sustain our growth rate after the next five years," Kumar told reporters after attending the second meeting of the Bihar Industrial Investment Advisory Council, comprising corporate chieftains here this afternoon.

Kumar said some private investments have definitely come in over the past few years, but those were mostly from local entrepreneurs and maintained the state needs large investments, which only big industrial houses can make.

The Chief Minister, who has been credited with pulling Bihar out of the economic mess, identified energy, health infrastructure, education, IT and food processing as the sectors where huge private investments can be made. The state clipped at a full 14.5 per cent in FY13, making it one of the highest among the states.

Kumar: Bihar's growth is primarily driven by public investment

The meeting was attended by Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal, Deepak Parekh of HDFC, Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank, Shikha Sharma of Axis Bank, chief of the capital markets regulator SEBI UK Sinha, ITC's YC Deveshwar and Star India's Uday Shankar among others.

Kumar clarified that the meeting was not for attracting investments, but for discussing necessary changes in industrial policy which can help the state in the long term.

He cited the discussion around the power sector during the group's last meeting in Patna in 2012 and the actions taken by his administration to improve the situation.

PTI

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