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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

06/11/2003

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

Bernama

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

IRCON Takes Up Issue Of Railway Contract With Mala
NEW DELHI, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- The Indian Railways, who have been deniedthe award of US$3.4 billion (US$1=RM3.80) railway contract in Malaysia,despite the letter of intent (LoI) issued to IRCON, has taken up the issuewith both the Malaysian Government and the Indian Prime Minister.

New Delhi is in dialogue with the new Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk SeriAbdullah Ahmad Badawi, who took over from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad onFriday, railway board and IRCON chairman, R.K. Singh was reported to havetold the busines daily, the Financial Express.

Indian Ambassador to Malaysia, Veena Sikri is in touch with the Malaysiangovernment on the issue and had already had dialogues with Abdullar priorto his taking over as the Prime Minister.

A detailed meeting between Sikri and Singh took place in New Delhi on Oct30 to discuss the issue.

On the Malaysian government's claim that they would prefer a lower bidbeing offered by the local company over the Indian and Chinese bid, Singhsaid it would not be proper to comment on the Malaysian bid.

"We have given our best bid depending on their statement of needs andrequirements," he added.

Singh said several rounds of discussions have taken place with theMalaysian government and changes had been made more than once.

He said the contract could be awarded to another company only after thecancellation of LoI.

The contract has reportedly been awarded to local consortium of Gamuda Bhdand Malaysian Mining Corporation.

India was to import palm oil equivalent of the value of the contract,officials said.

A register of statement of palm oil sales to India was opened in Januarysince the payment for the contract was to come in the form of palm oil, anofficial was reported to have said.

Palm oil against the contract was to come over a period of five years.Palm oil constitutes about 75 percent of India's total edible oil importsof US$1.8 billion.

-- BERNAMA