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I am happy to be present here on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee Celebration of the Bihar Industries Association. I would like to congratulate each one of you on your journey so far and on reaching this important milestone.

2. I understand that Bihar Industries Association (BIA) was established in the year 1943 and it was the only apex representative body of industry and service sector of the united Bihar till the year 2000 before the creation of the State of Jharkhand. I fondly remember coming to BIA in 1980 as the Union Commerce Minister and then as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in 1991 to deliver a Memorial Lecture. I am happy to say that Bihar Industries Association has striven to work as an enabler for Industry despite adversity.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

3. The main objective of this Association is to promote industrial development of this State by soliciting the attention of the State and Central Government and other authorities towards the impediments in the way of Industrialization and to promote and safeguard the interest of industries in general and industries of Bihar in particular. As the Association enters its seventy-fifth year of service, it is heartening to note its contribution to the economic development of Bihar.

Dear Friends,

4. I would like to reiterate what one of my predecessors Dr Kalam had said when he addressed the BIA on the occasion of their Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He said and I quote- “For the nation to develop, all the States have to develop. Bihar has an important role to play in realizing this vision.
We have to look ahead with confidence and set our sights high to make Bihar the leading example of resilience, growth, modernity and collective achievement.”

5. Bihar, in the last decade, has shown tremendous growth potential. This is substantiated by the latest economic survey (12th Economic Survey 2018-19) tabled in the Bihar Assembly which projected a growth rate of 10.3% of the state, higher than the national average growth rate of 7%. For a nation like ours, aspiring to be among the developed economies of the world, we cannot afford to be satisfied yet.
We have to commit ourselves to the goal of poverty elimination, employment generation, education for all and much more. Institutions like BIA can help the government in achieving these goals faster.
I urge the industry to take part in India’s growth story by generating employment, following the principles of corporate governance and ensuring sustainability in their catchment areas through meaningful CSR activities.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

6. Developing businesses into models of excellence calls for a deeper application of management principles. It also requires a better appreciation of the socio-economic realities. Businesses are meant not only to earn profits for their shareholders but also to add value to the society at large. Industry leaders would do well to build this gospel of doing business into their corporate work culture. Democracy succeeds only when stakeholders are involved in the formulation and implementation of policies. It stands equally true in case of policies where the stakeholder is the industry.

7. After registering GDP growth of over 7 per cent for the third year in succession in 2016-17, the Indian economy was estimated to grow at 6.5 per cent in 2017- 18, as per first Advance Estimates released by CSO. Even with this lower projection for 2017-18, GDP growth has averaged 7.3 per cent for the period from 2014-15 to 2017-18, which is the highest among the major economies of the world.

8. The food grain production increased to 275.7 million tonnes (according to 4th advanced estimates) in 2016-17 from 251.6 million tonnes in 2015-16. The Economic Survey 2017-18 points to the fact that the eight Core infrastructure supportive industries, viz. coal at 567.36 million tonnes(growth 2.6%), crude oil at 35684.34 thousand metric tonnes (growth rate : -0.9%), natural gas at 31731 Million Metric Standard Cubic Meters(growth rate: 2.9%), petroleum refinery products at 254.3 million metric tonnes(growth rate: 4.6%), fertilizers at 46.22 Million Metric Tonnes(growth rate: 0.03%), steel at 104.98 million tonnes (growth rate:5.6%), cement at 297.56 million tonnes (growth rate:6.3%) and electricity at 344002.39 Mega Watt (growth rate: 5.3%) ensured a cumulative growth of 4.3 per cent during April-March 2017-18 over the corresponding period of the previous year.

Dear Friends, Ladies & Gentlemen,

9. In light of the national figures, when one looks at the status of Bihar, it becomes clear that much more needs to be done. The per capita income of the state of Bihar is Rs. 29,190 (2015-16) at current prices in comparison to the national per capita income of Rs. 94,130 (2015-16). This points to the fact that the surplus with the people of the State is not enough to allow them to invest in establishing medium and large industries.

10. The policy planners, therefore, will have to devise a system where enough equity is provided to willing entrepreneurs enabling them to establish good sized units. At the same time, with a manufacturing growth rate of 17.7% (at constant prices), the industry has the potential to drive the overall growth of the state. But in order achieve this, there is an immediate need to support the manufacturing sector through better policies, better infrastructure, robust redressal mechanism, procurement procedures and a full-fledged raw material market near to these units.

11. It is indeed a matter of concern that urbanisation in Bihar at 11.3% has been far below the national figures of 32%. It is the least urbanised state amongst the larger states, with Tamil Nadu at 48.4% and Kerala at 47.7% topping the list. It is imperative that the Governments at State and Centre take concrete steps towards planned and sustainable urbanization so that many more centres driving growth are established.

12. Bihar has an extremely high population density, therefore it is necessary to encourage manufacturing units to go for vertical spread rather than horizontal planning. The government should also plan flatted factories, which may be given to micro and small units on "plug & play" basis. I believe that the development of infrastructure and Tourism sector development will help the State immensely.

Dear Friends,

13. I have always believed that Innovation is a key strategy for growth. We must lay emphasis on its various dimensions such as process innovation, product innovation, business model innovation and new technology innovation. Strong capabilities in designing and building machine tools are particularly critical. Industry must also develop close partnerships with universities and research institutions to take this aspiration forward.

14. In today’s context, the importance of energy and energy security is paramount. With rising crude oil prices, depreciating domestic currency and increasing oil imports, we stare at an acute prospect of having to incur huge foreign exchange outgo to buy expensive energy. Energy security has become synonymous with national security. It has been projected that by 2030, we would have to meet 90 per cent of crude oil, 60 per cent of natural gas and 57 per cent of coal requirements through imports. The ash content found in the highest quality of coal in India is generally 25 to 45 % whereas average ash content of imported coal varies from 10 to 20 %.

15. I am yet to hear a debate by our scientists and technologists as to how our country can improve the quality of our coal, or how we can become self-sufficient in energy. Even the optimistic experts point out that India has insufficient energy resources. A few years ago, a similar debate was heard in the US. But the US has proved everyone wrong as it has turned itself from being a huge net energy importer to being self-sufficient through the discovery of shale gas. This has been possible because of a crucial technological breakthrough in efficient recovery of shale gas.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

16. Technology commands enormous power to effect major transformation. Many relatively weak countries have transformed into emerging economies within a short span of time on the strength of technology. As such, Science and technology have been duly recognized as the vehicle to take India into the front ranking nations of the world. We have to make the forces of science, technology and innovation partners in our progress. Our future development depends on our ability to devise efficient processes for the industrial sector and better solutions for governance. Though innovation is a long-standing feature of our civilization; though there is no dearth of ingenuity in our people; we today lag behind the advanced nations in innovation activity. Our innovations should aim at converting knowledge into economic wealth and social good.

17. Bihar is landlocked and also has problems of recurring floods which is from across the international border. We must jointly find a solution to this problem. I call upon the scientific society to find viable solutions to the perennial problem of flooding in the state. Can we use this water to convert it into a potential source of hydro-electricity? Similarly, it will be in the fitness of things, if the industry being sought to be established is such that its raw material is available from the farms and agricultural produce of Bihar.

18. It is for you to find a constructive solution for this because our innovations must lead to the development of technologies that help the common man.I am reminded of Albert Einstein’s words when he said and I quote, "Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavours.” (unquote)

19. Through the avenues of BIA, I hope that the Indian industry will think, create, and deliver while taking care of our future generations. It is necessary for our Industry to not only create value for the businesses but also be equally sensitive to the society and environment. I request the Indian Industry to be part of the sustainability movement and participate in true nation-building.

20. We need to usher in a culture of social responsibility in the governance of Indian companies. Indian business, by integrating social and environmental objectives in their operations can make a positive contribution to the betterment of our society. "Inclusive growth” should not be a mere slogan but a fundamental driving force for sustainable development. My best wishes are with you all for greater success in future. I look forward to the transformation into practical reality of the ideas being germinated here. Arise to the challenges of the day and dedicate yourself to the building of strong India. I call upon you to lead the way in shaping not only the future of Bihar but also our country’s future.

Thank You

Jai Hind