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CII Road Show on Food Processing Policy for Bihar, scouts for potential investors
Tuesday, 22 September, 2009, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
MV Chandrashekar, Bangalore
Bihar Government has formulated a liberal industrial policy. For the potential investors in the food processing industry, the policy kitty has been made further more attractive taking the state forward in the league compared to other regions.

Under this liberal industrial policy of Bihar, any potential investor in the food processing industry can avail the facilities already in place under the Bihar Industrial Policy, 2006, like 80 % VAT reimbursement, 50% capital subsidy in the sphere of captive power generation, etc, coupled with added advantages like 40% capital subsidy and an absolute no bar or objection on behalf of the state government on any subsidy or facility what the investor wants to avail from the central government.

India is one of the largest producers of vegetables and fruits in the world with an annual production more than 80 million tonnes, only next to China. However, though India's GDP has recently crossed the trillion dollar mark taking it up to the elite club of 12 top economies, agriculture still comprises a mere 20% of the country's GDP despite the fact that it is the source and means of livelihood for almost 2/3rd of the country's workforce.

The Planning Commission has however, laid down a growth target of at least 4% for this sector in the 11th Five Year Plan as against the achieved growth rate of 2% in the 10th Plan. And within India, Bihar is such a state that has got a fertile land capable of multi-cropping and a set of skilled and cheap labour, where agriculture and agro-based industries can thrive to their capacity. It is fast coming up as the most sought after destination for the food processing industry in the eastern part of the nation.

Concentrating on these various areas of potentiality of the food processing sector of the Bihar, CII, Eastern Region, in partnership with the Department of Industries, Government of Bihar, organised a road show on food processing policy of Bihar in Bangalore.

Inaugurating the road show, the chief guest of the session, Ashok Kumar Sinha, principal secretary, Department of Industries, emphasised in his inaugural address on three major points of potential, policy and environment, which according to him makes Bihar an attractive investment destination.

He stated that despite the fact that Bihar is a fertile state complete with skilled and cheap labour, what is most important in today's date is the right pricing of the agricultural produce for which food-processing industry needs to play an active role.

According to S Chandrasekhar, convenor, industry, Institute Interaction Panel, CII Karnataka and managing director, Bhoruka Power Corporation, while Bihar has been paving the way to progress in the food processing industry, Karnataka still has a long way to go. "From not allowing contract farming in the state, the current APMC policy and corporates not being allowed to own land in the state are some of the major issues standing in the way of Karnataka's development," he added.

Delivering the key note address, Satyajit Singh, chairman, CII, Bihar State Council, said that there was ample scope for a fruitful partnership between the private investors and the Bihar Government which can ensure better returns.
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