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India's Jindal Steel accuses Bolivia of harassing, arresting female managers.

New Delhi, July 22 ( ANI ): Indian steel maker Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. has accused the Bolivian Government of harassing and arresting two of its female managers and confiscating its equipment after it ended a 2.1 billion-dollar-contract with the South American country.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company, in a statement, said the government action "shows that the Bolivian Government is taking recourse to criminal proceedings and its intent is to victimize the company and its employees".

It called on the Bolivian Government to "ensure the safety and security of all our employees and assets that legally belong to us."

Jindal said it has written to India's Foreign Minister, S.M. Krishna, about the matter, but is yet to receive a response.

A spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement: "This is a complex commercial dispute. Our Embassy and Ambassador in Peru (which also covers Bolivia) is assisting in the matter and has been directed to follow up with Bolivian Government on the latest issues."

A Jindal spokesman said two female managers were arrested at its office on Friday in Puerto Suarez, where the project is located, and were accused of removing property.

They were taken to a police station where they were questioned then later released. The spokesman said the allegations by the Bolivian authorities were "frivolous" and that the intent of the action had been to intimidate the employees.

Jindal said earlier this week it had terminated its contract to mine iron-ore and make steel in the country because of the Bolivian Government's unwillingness to supply 10 million cubic meters per day of gas to the company's facilities within 180 days of signing the contract, as was originally agreed. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 22, 2012
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