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Monday, February 20, 2006

Nitish Kumar's Interview in The Financial Express

Today’s edition of The Financial Express has an interview with Mr. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar.

Nitish Kumar says, “The basic challenge before us is to build Bihar…nothing can wait.”

Some of the highlights of recent initiatives taken in Bihar as elucidated in the interview:

  1. Adequate delegation of power to various departments. Earlier, state cabinet had the monopoly in taking decisions.
  2. Bihar has to be built on its core competency of agriculture and human capital.
  3. Simplification of procedures for effective utilization of central government funds through budgeting.
  4. Confidence building measures among investor community to remove the "investor unfriendly" tag from Bihar's name. As a result investors are showing interest in fields like sugar industry, hospitals, and educational institutions.
  5. Investment promotion board has been set up with powers to clear investments up to Rs 100 crores. Only for investments above Rs 100 Crores cabinet approval is necessary.
  6. Plans for modernization of police force. Recruitment of police force to make it more youthful and energetic. Current average age in Bihar police is 37+ years!
  7. World Bank is currently processing Bihar Livelihood Project. Efforts on to persuade ADB to include Bihar on its list of priorities. Other funding organizations are being contacted.
  8. Ordinance in pipeline to implement fiscal responsibility.
  9. A decision to unbundled Bihar SEB has been taken to improve power situation in the state.

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