Indian SC allows Lafarge to resume mining limestone
NEW DELHI, July c (AFP): India’s Supreme Court Tuesday gave French cement giant Lafarge permission to resume mining limestone in the country’s mineral-rich northeast, rejecting environmental opposition.
The court decision comes as good news for Lafarge’s $255-million cement plan in Bangladesh that is wholly dependent on limestone mined by the French company in the East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya state.
In February 2010, the court halted Lafarge from extracting limestone for the Lafarge Surma Cement Ltd plant at Chhatak in Bangladesh, saying mining could not be allowed in the environmentally sensitive zone.
But India’s environment ministry told the court in April it had cleared the mining project with strict conditions.
“We are satisfied with the MOEF (Ministry of Environment and Forest) as it has taken a due diligence exercise,” the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.
Limestone is transported from Meghalaya to the Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt Ltd in Bangladesh by a 17-kilometre (10-mile) conveyor belt.
Lafarge has said it is bringing “advanced technologies for scientific mining and sustainable development” to the poverty-hit region that will minimise any impact on the environment.
Activists in India’s northeast have opposed the limestone mining saying it will hurt the area’s fragile ecosystem.
The Dhaka government had been pushing India to allow resumption of the limestone mining for the Chhatak plant which bolds close to a 10 percent share of Bangladesh’s cement market.
The court decision comes as India has been seeking to boost ties with Bangladesh with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh slated to visit Dhaka in September.
Lafarge has a long-term agreement to extract limestone from the East Khasi Hills and supply it to its Bangladesh plant for cement production.
The Indian government initially cleared the export of limestone from Meghalays to Bangladesh in 2000.
Lafarge Surma Cement Ltd in a statement Wednesday hailed the decision of the Supreme Court of India which allowed the company to mine at a quarry in Nongtria, Meghalaya.
“We welcome the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court which allows us mine at a quarry in Nongtrai, Meghalaya and we are awaiting the detailed judgment so that we can resume our operations which were stalled since February 2010,” the statement added.
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Foundation Stone of the multistoried BOI building laid
|Hon’ble Prime Minister of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Chairperson of BOI says that Bangladesh is the most attractive investment destination in South Asia to the foreign investors while she was addressing the foundation laying ceremony of the proposed 14-storied head office complex of Board of Investment (BOI) at Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka on 18 June, 2011. She also mentioned that despite the global economic slowdown, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country has been increasing gradually due to government’s step to turn Bangladesh into an investment friendly destination in South Asia, as well as the whole world.|
|In this regard she praises the service of BOI saying that BOI is one of the most important government organization which is working to promote private investment, mainly the foreign investment. For the Smooth operation of BOI it needed a permanent place. She said that in spite of resource constraints, the government is providing money for implementing massive development projects & the construction of the building of BOI is one of them.
The Executive Chairman of BOI Dr. S A Samad was also present on the occasion and delivered speech. Dr. S A Samad thanked The Prime Minister as well as the government for taking initiative to build the Head Office of BOI. All the speakers were hopeful about saying that BOI will get a new dimension to promote the foreign investors after starting its operation in its new building and it will help Bangladesh earn more FDI.
Breathrough export concept gains traction in Bangladesh business circles
The Rogovin Group,a 23 year old international marketing and sales consulting organization recently introduced a new breakthrough export initiative that it has branded,Test America-Bangladesh.
This special export approach was presented to senior Bangladesh government and business leaders during symposiums at Harvard University and The Embassy of Bangladesh, in Washington, DC. In both instances, the reactions to this program were quite positive.
This industry specific, consortium concept is designed to offer a group of non-competitive companies from the same broad industry, the opportunity to present a more cohesive distribution and promotional program to select U.S. retailers. Additionally, this consortium initiative will be able to be produced at a fraction of the cost for a launch of a similar export concept on an individual company basis.
Two Bangladesh industries are being considered for this branded test market initiative e.g. the food and beverage sector (sea food, tea, rice, fruits, spices) and the fashion industry (apparel, leather goods, jewelry, perfumes).
According to David Rogovin, Managing Partner at The Rogovin Group, discussions have begun with the leaders in these industries. Additionally, early stage conversations with representatives from the cultural and tourism ministries (natural partners for this export program) are com