Patna: Three months after visiting London to seek investment, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Wednesday said he was not in favour of big industries or big capital in the state, and preferred development of small and medium industries instead.
"I am not in favour of big industries and big capital in Bihar. I want small and medium industries to establish and flourish in the state. If this happens, ample employment opportunities could be provided to the people here," he said.
"Bihar has fewer industries than it should have. We want expansion of industries in the state," he added while addressing a programme of rice mill owners' association here.
After his five-day tour of the UK in September, Manjhi had said industrialists and entrepreneurs in England have evinced interest in investing in Bihar especially in the field of health, education and food processing.
The Chief Minister asked entrepreneurs and educated youth not to got to other states, and put their skills to use in the state to solve the unemployment problem.
Speaking at a programme of Bihar State Rice Millers Association called by its members to discuss the problems faced by them, Manjhi said, "We are organising a 'panchayat' for industrialists on December 29. We are trying to learn about your problems, and will listen to them and solve them."
The chief minister lamented that despite producing ample foodgrains, Bihar has to import grains from other states.
"Three thousand rice mills and over one lakh labourers are working here. Then what is the need to import food grains, especially when we are producing also. I am worried about our farmers. They should not sell their crop at very low rates to survive," he said.
Manjhi said he has ordered opening of paddy purchase centres and activate them. Bihar's food grain storage capacity is 11 lakh tonne and it will be raised to 18 lakh tonne soon.
"We have fixed a target of procuring 6 lakh tonne paddy through Bihar State Food Corporation (BSFC) and another 24 lakh tonne through Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS). The Minimum Support Price (MSP) for average quality paddy has been fixed at Rs 1,380 per quintal, while for grade A paddy it is Rs 1,400 per quintal," Manjhi said.
Farmers and PACS were also being registered and farmers would get MSP and other benefits directly in their bank accounts, he added.