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Bangladesh to review Tata's proposal

March 29, 2007 17:40 IST
Bangladesh on Thursday said it would "thoroughly examine" the proposed $3 billion investment by Tata group before taking a final decision on its fate.

"We are not saying yes or no to the proposal... We will make a thorough examination and then take a decision," Foreign Affairs Adviser of Bangladesh's interim government Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said.

"For any such investment, it is extremely important that we study the issues in detail," he said.

Chowdhury, however, gave no time frame for a decision. The Minister's statement came several days after the Indian conglomerate warned that it might shelve the investment plan if Bangladesh authorities further delay taking a decision.

The major development partners earlier suggested Dhaka accept the proposal as the country was desperately trying to attract foreign direct investment while the Asian Development Bank recently said Bangladesh should ink the deal to expedite the development process.

Bangladesh officials earlier held several rounds of negotiations with senior Tata executives on the project while the Bangladesh Nationalist Party government of Khaleda Zia had promised to make a decision on the Tata project by last June.

But later the BNP government put the investment proposal on hold, saying the new government would decide on the matter after the now postponed general elections.

The reconstituted caretaker government under chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed said the task of cleaning up corruption was their priority but they would take up all necessary projects to promote long-term economic growth.

Tata officials earlier this month said they were keen to invest in Bangladesh and awaiting the government decision on the proposal but said it would be difficult for them to wait for an indefinite period.

"There are other opportunities in the pipeline and the more we commit before the agreement with Bangladesh happens, the more difficult it becomes for us to invest," Tata chief of Bangladesh operations Indranil Sengupta said.

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