Bangla nod to revised Tata offer

Dhaka, May 1:

Bangladesh has reacted positively to Indian conglomerate Tata Group’s revised proposals, including higher gas price, for a $3 billion investment in its energy industry, saying they are “in line with the country’s terms”.

Asked to revise its proposals during the recent visit of prime minister Khaleda Zia to India, Tata Group yesterday proposed higher gas price and some new package benefits in its revised proposal for investment in four projects — fertiliser, steel, power and open-pit coal mine. “We think the deal we proposed is an extremely good one. This is the deal of a century for us and Bangladesh,” Alan Rosling, executive director of Tata Group, said. Calling them ‘win-win proposals’, the group has sought ‘yes or no’ by June 31 and set August 31 as the deadline to sign a full agreement.

“The $3 billion investment in four projects will employ thousands of people and generate billions of dollars of foreign exchange for Bangladesh,” Rosling said. The Bangladesh Board of Investment will send the proposal to the negotiation committee headed by communications secretary Shafiqul Islam and the negotiation committee will examine it before submitting to the ministerial committee headed by Motiur Rahman Nizami.

According to the new price model, Tata offered $3.10 for per thousand cubic feet (MCF) gas for its fertiliser project and $2.60 per MCF for its proposed steel plant if it trades in today’s international rates, Daily Star newspaper reported.

The gas price, however, may vary from $2 to $4 per MCF while the floor price will be $1.5 per MCF at the initial period (first 5/6 years). Tata proposed a flat price of $1.10 per unit gas in its first offer.