Looks like Dow Chemical is set to boost its presence in India. Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd (GACL) announced yesterday that it has signed a MoU with Dow for business cooperation in chlorinated organics.
It is not yet clear if the cooperation involves manufacturing products in India and the scale of Dow’s investment.
What is interesting though is that the announcement comes days after Kamal Nath, India’s commerce minister, said in the US that as Dow did not have a direct link to the Bhopal gas tragedy its investments in India would not be affected.
However, NGOs claim that Dow is liable following its acquisition of Union Carbide and the minister's statement was an indication that of the government selling out to Dow.
They specifically want Dow to clean up waste at the abandoned factory in Bhopal and claim that Dow’s liability flows from the ‘polluter pays’ principle.
The Bhopal issue has constrained Dow in India and it could well continue if NGOs have their way.