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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Bhaskar To Set Up Plants To Refine M'sian, Indon C

COLOMBO, June 23 (Bernama) - An Indian company, the Bhaskar Group, plansto set up two plants in Sri Lanka for processing and exporting palm oiland edible oils at a total cost of around 2.5 billion rupees (US$26million), using refined crude palm oil imported from Malaysia andIndonesia.

The group, based in Bhopal, Madya Pradesh, last week signed a memorandumof understanding with the Board of Investment to put up a mill in aninvestment zone in southern Galle.

The refined palm oil would be turned into a product called IndianVanaspati or margarine that is used mainly for bakery shortening or foodindustry purposes and exported to markets in India, Pakistan andelsewhere.

The company has several oil seed crushing mills in India and is also intonewspapers, information technology and textiles.

"This is their first plant abroad," Shamindra Iriyagama, the localrepresentative of the Bhaskar Group was quoted as saying in The SundayTimes newspaper. "They want to set up a plant here to take advantage ofthe free trade agreement between India and Sri Lanka."

The project will cost 990 million rupees and provide jobs to around150-300 people.

The company is to hold talks with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority toidentify a suitable location for the project, which is expected togenerate 500-600 jobs.

The Bhaskar Group is one of the largest Hindi newspaper groups in Indiathat prints newspapers in at least six states, has 150 million readers and22 full editions. -- BERNAMA