Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday called for local entrepreneurs to come forward for the development of the state, which has been witnessing signs of revival.
He said local businessmen and entrepreneurs held the key for development and could change the face of the state.
"Local people have to invest in Bihar. Then only, outsiders will also come for investment. So, it is the responsibility of the local businessmen and entrepreneurs to make the first move.
"Others will come after this. So, in a way, people of Bihar hold the key for the development of the state," he said while speaking as the chief guest at Samriddhi 2011, an event organised by Business Standard Hindi, in Patna.
"Our first priority was the basic law and situation. We allayed the fear of the common man. There was never any drought of money," he said, adding, "however, lack of security and poor law and order situation was a problem, which reduced people's spending. Businessmen started fleeing the state.
"We tackled this problem and provided them security. Today, they can spend money at will. The situation has changed. Now people want to come back to Bihar. They are searching for new avenues to invest in the state," he added.
With the state showing signs of promise on various counts, the government started to invest heavily on infrastructure, mainly roads. "No nation or state can develop with a good network of roads.
"Today, the situation of roads is improving. We even invested more than Rs 1,000 crore on the development of national highways. This is not the domain of the state government, but still we did it. We wanted an improved standard of living for people. So, we did it," the chief minister said.
He also criticised the central government for not providing adequate support for the development of Bihar. "We could have done a much better job, had the Centre supported us.
"Last year, during the state Assembly elections, ministers from the central government were saying about providing coal blocks to the state. "It makes no sense. I mean, if somebody is hungry, you cannot give him a land lease. He needs food. We do want coal blocks, but first our priority is the coal linkage. Then only we can produce power for the state.
The chief minister also accused the Centre of not taking the Right to Education Act seriously.
"To implement this Act, we need Rs 27,000 crore (Rs 270 billion) in the first year and Rs 15,000-16,000 crore (Rs 150-160 billion) in the recurring years.
"However, the central government has provided only Rs 21,000 crore (Rs 210 billion) for the whole country for implementing the Act," he said.
He said, "On SEZ too, they made very much noise. Now, it is coming back on them. It is fast becoming a nature to sell everything.
"This is very dangerous. Apart from it, we also want New Delhi's nod on the Ethanol production. It is not making any progress. This would have attracted many investors, but we are struck in the process."
Image: Nitish Kumar