The Tata group has called off its plan to invest $3 billion in Bangladesh, covering projects in the steel, coal and fertiliser sectors, ending a ten-week wait for a decision by the government in Dhaka.
"We are extremely disappointed and frustrated (over the delay in clearing the plan)...We thought the projects were good for the country's economy, for the people and the balance of payment," Alan Rosling, executive director of Tata Sons, told reporters in Dhaka.
The planned investment may be made elsewhere, he said without detailing the destination. It is likely that the investments may be used to increase Tata Sons' stake in group companies.
Rosling, who held talks with Bangladesh finance and planning minister M Saifur Rehman, industries minister Matiur Rehman Nizami and principal secretary to the prime minister on the previous day, said if the government can't take a decision, investment plans won't wait.
Reports quoting Manzer Husain, resident director of Tata Sons in Dhaka, said the company has put the plans on hold. "We are suspending and there will be no further work on the plan ...we have put in resources here though and so we will wait for the new government to come", after the polls in 2007, he said.
Tata had earlier set a May 31 deadline for a decision by the Bangladesh government. Government spokesmen, meanwhile, said a consensus is evading political parties and investment plans of this nature needed wider consensus.
The plan, if materialised, would have been the largest single foreign investment in the country.