Chief minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated a poultry farm and hatchery at Hajipur Industrial Area in Vaishali district on Friday. He also laid the foundation of a frozen food processing unit.
The units have been set up by Protect Feed Private Limited, owned by JD(U) MLA from Sahebganj Assembly seat in Muzaffarpur, Raju Kumar Singh. He also runs a pharmaceutical company in Russia.
After the inauguration, Nitish lauded the entrepreneurship spirit of MLA Singh. He spoke of Bihar's immense potential for agro-based business. "Some people are spreading canards that not even a needle factory has come up in Bihar in my regime. They should come and see Hajipur Industrial Area and find about the industrial development in the state," Nitish said, taking digs at political rivals Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan without naming them.
Nitish said his government was committed to industrial growth and has formulated policies giving incentives for setting up industries in Bihar. He added that in spite of the fact that mines and ores have gone to Jharkhand, Bihar has a rich cultural heritage and labourers. The agricultural roadmap would help productivity to increase, he claimed. He advised MLA Singh to start a processing unit of grams.
Nitish said Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh were conducive for sugar industry and Bihar once produced 25 per cent of total sugar made in the country. "But the Centre's wrong policies have pushed industries in this part of the country to the back," he said, holding the freight equalisation policy as one of the main reasons behind industrial backwardness.
MLA Singh told The Telegraph that Rs 25 crore had been invested in the poultry and hatchery and added that an estimated Rs 25 crore would be pumped into the frozen food processing unit.
MLA Singh said: "I am not doing this for business. I am contributing towards the dream of chief minister Nitish Kumar of ensuring at least one item from Bihar on every plate served for lunch or dinner in India," he said. He said that Hajipur Industrial Area has undergone a sea change in the past seven years. "Around 20 industrial units have come up in the industrial park. People, who come to visit the area with me, say that it has started to have a semblance of Gujarat and Gurgaon."