Tata, the Indian corporate giant, confuses me.
The more spokesperson Tata group comes up with, the more confused I get.
In principle, I strongly support Tata investment in Bangladesh. For many reasons, including,
1. Bangladesh will get foregn investment in much needed power and other industrial sector,
2. Jobs will be created in poor northwestern part of Bangladesh,
3. As it being the largest ever foreign investment by an Indian company, this investment works as a testimonial to investworthiness of bangladesh. This will refute all Indian media campaign relentlessly protraying Bangladesh as a Islamic Taliban style dysfunctional state.
4. With that huge amount of money at stake, Dr Sood’s assertion of a stronger Bangladesh is better for India will be reinforced.
5. It will pave the way for a better Indo-bangla relationship.
But some recent events made me suspicious of the deal.
1. Respected economist Dr wahiduddin Mahmood came up with an article showing the demerits of Tata investment for Bangladesh economy.
2. Tata started playing powerball with this issue. I feel the first powerball is the recent bangladesh shinning Time Asia Article. This article indirectly placed tata investment as a precondition to all future good about bangladesh. As I thought earlier, and weekly 2000 strongly suspects, this article may be a work by tata to bribe BD government and at same time pressurizing BD govt into accepting Tata offer.
3. Look at yesterdays newspaper, while in the daily Star the heading was this, FBCCI ( FBCCI is Bangladesh,s prime business body) not happy with Tata’s gas price offer, Daily prothom-alo headlined the news item as, ” bangladesh govt must make concession”, quoting tata resident representative in BD. When Tata resident rep meets FBCCI, whose quote should be in heading, tata reps or FBCCI’s? Protocol wise who is more important? And more interestingly, Tata rep today denied making any such statement.
And that’s not the end of it. Yesterday Bangladesh finance minister, without spending anytime analyzing the Tata offer, told the indian press, ” New Tata offer much better”. This also gets undue prominant coverage in Prothom-alo.
And do you know who will finally decide the Tata deal on behalf of bangladesh govt? A high powered committe lead by Industry Minister Motiur rahman Nizami.