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Dow Chemicals pushed, ordered Indian govt

Jun 12, 2010 08:59 AM IST Politics Politics
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New Delhi: Dow Chemicals, the company that acquired Union Carbide Corp, which is blamed for the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, pressed the government to meet its business demands and almost seems to be ordering it. The weekly Outlook magazine says that Dow Chemicals company had been actively lobbying with the government two years ago. The magazine’s revelation comes just two days after CNN-IBN reported how Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi provided legal opinion to Dow Chemicals based on a reference from the Prime Minister's Office. Documents accessed by the magazine reveal that the company almost went to the extent of ordering and lecturing the Indian government. Dow Chemicals CEO Andrew Liveris' letter to P Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister then, almost seem to be pushing him for the company’s growth in India. "It is critical [that] the government of India speaks in one voice on issues of foreign direct investment and sustained domestic economic growth. We value your direct assistance in ensuring that all ministries operate on the basis of messages we have received from the Prime Minister himself," says Liveris’ letter, dated October 2008. What is even more shocking is that in the letter Liveris even sets targets for the government. "We remain committed to exploring further investment in India but need your support and actions to resolve these issues. We look for tangible evidence of government action in the next 30 days," Liveris writes in the letter, copies of which are available with Outlook and CNN-IBN. Liveris met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his 2008 US tour. In the past, Dow Chemicals suffered setbacks in its businesses in India. Its contract with Indian Oil got cancelled after it was revealed that the technology involved was developed by Union Carbide. The company also faces CBI investigation into a bribery case involving Dow subsidiary De-Nocial.