A British parliamentary delegation on Tuesday showed keen interest in investing in private sector, particularly small-scale enterprises in the State.
“We are tremendously impressed with the progress in the UK-funded projects in Odisha. We have seen fruits of work, done by the Odisha Government, in areas like health, sanitation and agriculture,” Alan Haselhurst, who led a nine-member delegation of British parliamentarians, told mediapersons after a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
He also commended the work for providing protection against malaria and other diseases. “There is clear justification for increasing British aid flowing into the State. It has been a moving experience,” Haselhurst said adding the delegation would present the positive story to the UK Government after returning.
Besides discussing the need for greater cooperation with Odisha government, the British parliamentarians, accompanied by representatives of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), visited several project sites and held discussions with senior officials.
“One of the things we are trying to do now in addition to work we do with the Government in health and educational programmes is to provide some investment in private sector too,” DFID acting Asia Director Sam Sharpe said during the team’s visit to Milk Mantra, a dairy project located near Gop in Puri district.
“I think from DFID you can expect some investments in small-scale enterprises and start-up companies,” he added.
“We certainly believe there is scope for cooperation between British companies and enterprises here,” Haselhurst said.
DFID State official Sailesh Kumar said the UK is increasing its support to channel funds where private sector agrees to partner DFID’s mission to sustain innovative investments in the field of agriculture.
The Chief Minister hoped that the cooperation between the DFID and the State Government will be strengthened in the coming days. Naveen referred to his meeting with the Minister of DFID during his visit to the UK in May in which spread of education among ST girl students in the State and development of urban infrastructure were discussed.
Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik, Development Commissioner RN Senapati and secretaries of various departments were present.