Tata mulling coal-based ventures in Bangladesh: Industry body

December 17th, 2011 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 17 (IANS) Describing Bangladesh as an attractive investment destination, the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) Saturday said salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group, whose earlier proposed $2-billion project in Bangladesh ran into trouble, is mulling new coal-based ventures there.

“Their earlier $2-billion project will no more happen now, it’s finished. But they are now looking at coal-based projects though they have not publicised it. Though they haven’t made any concrete decision on the matter but they are definitely looking into Bangladesh,” IBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad said.

IBCCI is a joint-effort of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The Tata Group had put on hold its $2-billion project of steel, power and chemicals in Bangladesh following concerns over the pricing of gas.

The Mumbai-headquartered conglomerate had in February 2005 signed an expression of interest with Bangladesh’s Board of Investment (BoI) for putting up three gas-based projects. This comprised a 2.4 million tonne steel plant, the 1,000 MW power project and the one million tonne fertiliser plant, making it the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh from India.

Ahmad, who was speaking at an interactive session on India-Bangladesh trade, organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce (MCC) here, urged Indian investors to set up business in Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh is an attractive destination for Indian investment. We have set up two industrial complexes exclusively for Indian investors. The businesses set up there will be entitled to a number of incentives, including corporate tax holidays of 5 to 7 years in specified sectors,” said Ahmad, also the chairman of Nitol-Niloy group which has developed the complexes.

The 100-acre complexes each are located in Sylhet, a major city in north-east of the country, and Kishoreganj in central Bangladesh.

Ahmad also invited Indian investment in shopping malls and hotels which were in lesser numbers in Bangladesh.

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