Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Nitish gives Bihar a sweet surprise

Nitish gives Bihar a sweet surprise

Prabhakar Kumar

Updated 1529 hrs IST (+GMT 5:30), 15.02.06 Email Print

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is trying to put the state's ailing industries on track and his government's initiatives with the help of the Centre has started yielding results on ground.

The developmental spree promised by Nitish has given a fillip to the sugar market and has kicked off the opening six new sugar factories in Bihar.

Bihar once had 30 sugar-producing units making up 26 per cent of the national sugar production.

With the government?s latest initiative and the Centre chipping in to help, it almost seems that those days are back with

"It has been concluded that the state will get at least five to six sugar mills,? Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, said.

Out of the 30 sugar mills, only four units are functional as of now and even they are struggling to survive.

Sugarcane farmers in Bihar now see a new ray of hope. Most of them are either heavily in debt or leading a hand to mouth existence.

"We want to raise production of sugar to 5000 tonnes. To achieve that, we have announced a package and the state will fund the programme," Nitish Kumar said.

Even RJD ministers at the Centre seem to have joined the mission to bring back Bihar on the path of development and has made an effort to bring back smile on the faces of thousands of sugarcane farmers.

"For the sugar mill to work, we are ready to shed our blood for it. Anything to make it work," sugar cane farmer Virendra Yadav said.

Talks are under way to reopen all 30 sick sugar units and add an equal number of new sugar producing factories that would provide 40,000 jobs and livelihood to one lakh families.
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