Dhaka: The Tata Group is expected to resume its stalled negotiations with the Bangladesh government on its $3 billion investment proposal next month, company officials said on 30 April.
“The talks are expected to resume very soon,” Tata resident director in Dhaka, Syed Manzer Hussain, told newsmen late yesterday after meeting with interim government’s Commerce Advisor Hossain Zillur Rahman.
Hussain did not elaborate exactly when the talks would begin but officials said these were expected to resume in the first week of June 2008.
The Tata representative said, “Many things need to be reviewed because so many changes have taken place in the last two years,” as their investment proposal remain undecided since August 2006.
The Indian conglomerate on April 2005 formally submitted $2.5 billion investment proposal and revised it to around $3 billion to set up a 1,000MW power plant, a steel mill with an annual production capacity of 420,000 tones and a fertilizer unit with a 1-million-tonne capacity in Bangladesh.
Tata had offered 10% stake to Bangladesh government in each of these projects if the proposals and list of concerns were enlisted with Dhaka stock exchange.
“We will definitely make sure that the country’s interests are protected while we welcome foreign investments,” said Commerce Adviser after talks with Hussain.
Rehman said Tata’s interest to invest here as well as interest shown by others like Mittal Group mean that Bangladesh is a good destination for investment.
During the year-long series of negotiations earlier, both sides provisionally agreed on a 15-year guarantee of 1.25 trillion cubic feet gas and 3 million tonnes of coal supply to Tata annually.
It was also agreed Tatas would enjoy a 10-year tax holiday and uninterrupted gas supply would be guaranteed.
Financial and political analysts earlier said the talks were stalled as then Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) government led by now detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was unwilling to make a final decision on the proposed investment before the scheduled election, which was originally slated for January last year.
The proposed investment by Tata would be the country’s single largest foreign investment since its independence in 1971.