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India, Malaysia to ink $1 bn railway deal

May 13, 2008 16:27 IST

India and Malaysia will ink a $1 billion railway contract, which has been bagged by an Indian public sector unit.

The landmark deal, which will be signed on Friday, will be witnessed by Indian Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Malaysia awarded IRCON International Ltd to design, construct, commission and maintain the proposed electrified double-track rail at the country's Seremban-Gemas sector.

"It is IRCON's biggest ever project given by a foreign government," Achal Khare, IRCON's Malaysia head, told PTI on Tuesday. He said the company had so far completed 12 projects in the country.

IRCON's latest project comes after an earlier Ipoh-Padang Besar project in 2001-2003, for which the Malaysian government had considered the Indian company but later shelved the plan.

The project has since been awarded to another company.

The Ringgit3.4 billion project is expected to be implemented within 48 months of its signing the project.

"Malaysian authorities want one phase to be completed by 17 July 2010 and the remaining by 17 January 2012," Khare said.

The award of the project is an important milestone for the India-Malaysia cooperation in the field of railway infrastructure, officials said.

Yadav, who arrives in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, will meet Malaysian Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat and later attend the formal signing ceremony awarding the project to IRCON.

During his three-day stay in Malaysia, the minister will formally inaugurate IRCON International's regional office in Kuala Lumpur and visit the KL Monorail facilities.

The minister will meet the Indian expatriates at a dinner-cum-cultural function organised by the Bharat Club and Consortium of Indian Industries in Malaysia.

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