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Projects on paper,Munda in Germany to woo investment

Chief Minister Arjun Munda flew off to Germany hunting for fresh investments in Jharkhand.

Written by Manoj Prasad | Ranchi |
April 4, 2011 3:16:18 am

Chief Minister Arjun Munda flew off to Germany on Saturday hunting for fresh investments in Jharkhand — an exercise the opposition parties described as a waste of public money considering the fact that many of the previous projects garnered by the state are yet to take off.

This week-long foreign trip will be Munda’s first during his third stint as the Chief Minister. Many of the projects of those investors who had signed MoUs with the state government during Munda’s first stint as Chief Minister in 2004 are yet to take off. These projects include Ratan Tata’s Rs 40,000 crore 12 million capacity steel plant,Naveen Jindal’s Rs 5,000 crore power plant and L N Mittal’s Rs 40,00 crore 12 million capacity steel plant.

The inordinate delay in execution of these projects has mainly been attributed to problems connected with land acquisition,absence of investor friendly milieu and lack of a dynamic industrial policy. The state government continues to follow its old industrial policy which was adopted for a period of five years in 2001.

Despite this,the state government believes it will be able to rope in fresh investments from abroad. Munda is slated to attend a four-day World Trade Fair in Hanover beginning from April 4. The state government has set up a pavilion with a declared aim to invite investment,especially in automobile and electric transmission sector. His Principal Secretary D K Tiwari said Munda will also visit Berlin.

The opposition parties have been critical of Munda’s trip. “Going abroad is fine. But going there at the cost of public fund for inviting investment without ensuring land and industry friendly environment to the previous investors sounds like a cruel joke,” said Congress MLA Saurabh Narain Singh.

“His (Munda’s) government is not bothered about industry,” said Jharkhand Vikas Morcha president and MP Babulal Marandi.

Incidentally,Marandi himself had toured Thailand,Singapore and Malaysia to attract investment during his tenure as the CM after the formation of the state in 2000. Subsequently,Munda,during his second and third stints between 2003 and 2006,had visited many cities abroad,including London and Seattle for the same purpose.

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