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Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the experience of Indian Oil as a pioneer in implementing Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) towards enhancing rural penetration of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) as a clean cooking fuel in India would help in promoting its use in Bangladesh. This, in turn, would be a catalyst of socio-economic change through an increase in access to clean cooking fuel in India’s eastern neighbour, he added.
Pradhan made these remarks after overseeing the signing of a joint venture agreement (JVA) between IOC Middle East FZE, a subsidiary of Indian Oil based in Dubai and RR Holdings Ltd of Beximco Group, in the presence of Salman Fazlur Rahman, Advisor to Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Nasrul Hamid, Minister of State for Power, Energy & Mineral Resources, Bangladesh on Tuesday.
In his address, Pradhan spoke about the long-standing relationship between India and Bangladesh that were joined by history, culture and shared sacrifices made the 1971 war for the liberation of Bangladesh. Speaking about the role of the energy sector in India-Bangladesh relationship, he said, “I am happy to note that energy cooperation between our two countries has made considerable progress during the last few years. This is part of Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s vision to build an ‘energy bridge’ with Bangladesh as a part of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.”
The October 2019 visit by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to New Delhi had further strengthened the engagement and opened new vistas of co-operation between the two countries, he said. Speaking about the JV agreement, he said that it marked yet another step towards expanding bilateral energy cooperation with Bangladesh.
Rahman said, “The JVA should serve as a testament to the remarkable investment potential of Bangladesh. At a time when the entire world is grappling with the severe economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, this investment also reflects the resilient and enduring friendship between Bangladesh and India.”
Hamid observed, “As Bangladesh’s middle class is rising with higher purchasing power, the LPG sector has seen remarkable growth over the years and is set to grow further in the coming years. As such, a partnership and investment at this scale between two experienced and major players have every potential to be a true game-changer in the industry.”
Through this JV, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL) together with Beximco plans to further expand its downstream business in Bangladesh and other countries.