States woo ‘pravasis’ for industrial investment

January 9th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra ModiChennai, Jan 9 (IANS) Gujarat logs double digit growth, but would like to have equal contribution from the industrial, agriculture and services sectors so a downturn doesn’t affect it seriously, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said here Friday. “Our plan is to see the three sectors contributing equally - one third - in the state’s growth so that a downturn does not affect the state seriously,” Modi said at the seventh Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), India’s annual convention to connect with its diaspora.

“The state’s growth rate is over 10 percent with a revenue surplus of over Rs.25 billion (Rs.2,500 crore or $513 million) as against a revenue deficit of Rs.67 billion in 2002-03,” he said.

Citing the country’s average agricultural growth of 2.5 percent, he said the state registered an agriculture growth of 12.5 percent mainly due to the rainwater harvesting programmes initiated by his government.

“In five years, over 300,000 check dams have been constructed. The water table in the state is going up,” he added.

With the state churning out more finance professionals, he said the proposed Rs.150 billion Gujarat International Finance Tec-City would attract major finance institutions to the state. The idea was to make this city as international commercial and financial hub like New York and Frankfurt.

Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi also spoke at the gathering. The development measures undertaken by the state include improving education, healthcare facilities, reservation for women at panchayat boards, large scale appointment of teachers along with attracting investment.

“The government will be appointing over 80,000 teachers this year taking the total number of teachers appointed in the last four years to 300,000. We will also revive the lost glory of Nalanda University through overseas partnership,” he said.

He said the government was implementing systems whereby citizens could demand information under the Right to Information Act through the phone - both landline and mobile.

Urging PIOs (person of Indian origin) and NRIs to invest in sectors like food processing, he said: “The state is the largest exporter of maize and the country’s first sugar mill was set up in Bihar 105 years ago.”

Hoping to attract investment, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said the state would soon be power surplus by adding around 15,880 MW capacity implementing 21 projects.

“We have twice reduced the power tariff for industrial consumers,” he added.

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