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Big B appointed Uttar Pradesh's brand ambassador

Last updated on: October 20, 2003 08:53 IST

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan was on Sunday appointed Uttar Pradesh's brand ambassador.

Amar Singh, chairman of the State Industrial Development Council and a family friend, told reporters in Lucknow that Bachchan has agreed to help improve the state's sagging image as an investment destination.

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Members of the SIDC, comprising the who's who of the corporate world, held a brainstorming session with government officials in Lucknow to chalk-out a roadmap for the development of Uttar Pradesh.

Besides Bachchan, those present were Reliance Group Managing Director Anil Ambani, Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej, chief of Sahara Parivar Subrata Roy Sahara and Hindustan Lever Group CEO M S Banga.

Uttar Pradesh has the potential to grow due to its size, and if UP develops, India too will develop, Godrej told reporters.

Anil Ambani said Uttar Pradesh could attract large investments from across the country if the infrastructure - both industrial and social - improves, and to cap it all the law and order situation also has to improve.

Subrata Roy Sahara said industrial development should encompass the agriculture sector. "Over 60 per cent of our discussions centred around how to improve agriculture and agro-based industries."

Amitabh Bachchan stressed the need for attracting tourists to the state. It is ironical, he said, that despite UP being a Hindi-speaking state, Maharashtra tops in revenue generation as far as Hindi cinema goes.

Amar Singh indicated some loss-incurring units could be divested. "The government cannot carry the burden of bleeding (loss-making) industries. The government will have to shelve them. It is working on the modalities of divesting some industries," he said.
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