The PRAN Group of Bangladesh will set up agro-processing plants in Tripura with an investment of $5 million, an official said here Thursday. The project is the first venture by any Bangladeshi company or individual investor in India.
The food processing firm has plans to set up similar projects in Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
"Bangladesh Revenue Board (BRB) has in first phase permitted PRAN Group to invest 10 crore Bangladeshi Taka in the upcoming project in northeastern state of Tripura," Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC) Chairman Pabitra Kar told reporters.
The TIDC has allotted two acres to PRAN (Programme for Rural Advancement Nationally) to set up the project at the northeast India's biggest industrial zone located at western Tripura's Bodhjungnagar, some 25 km north of Tripura capital Agartala.
"We shall provide all kind of logistical help to commission the proposed industrial unit and it would earn foreign investment, besides generating employment," said Kar, a former state industry minister and member of the Tripura assembly.
Amjad Ali Khan Chowdhury, chief executive officer of the PRAN Group, during a recent visit said here that the company would also seek loans from Indian financial institutions to set up their projects in Tripura and subsequently in Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
Khan Chowdhury said the company had secured a $150 million loan from the International Finance Corp, an arm of the World Bank, to expand its business.
"The loan will support the PRAN's strategic investment plan over the next three years," he said.
Started in 1980, PRAN manufactures food products in six categories - snacks, confectionary, juices, beverages, culinary products, dairy and premium rice.
Employing around 25,000 workers, the company exports its products to more than 75 countries, including India.