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No Dow chief meet: Pranab

india Updated: Jun 17, 2010 01:45 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
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Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has discounted possibility of a "bilateral meeting" with Dow Chemicals chief Andrew Liveris during the India-US CEO forum's June 22 meeting in Washington.

He, however, refrained from commenting on the theme of his discussions with top US corporations at the forum in the backdrop of the Bhopal gas leak verdict and the resultant popular outrage in India.

Liveris among others is a member of the CEO forum with which the Indian delegation will engage.

"There is a regular Group of Ministers, a department and a ministry (to deal with the issue). I'm not all rolled into one," the finance minister told HT.

A source, however, said two members of the GoM on Bhopal — Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chauhan — would also be travelling to the US at the same time for Indo-US Health and Science and Technology forum meetings respectively.

From the Indian side, the CEO forum is headed by Ratan Tata, who during the UPA-I mooted an initiative by corporate India for a site remediation fund for cleaning up toxic waste at the Bhopal plant site of Union Carbide — now owned by Dow Chemicals.

The source said the meeting afforded India an opportunity to discuss ways to avoid industrial disasters such as the one in Bhopal, with captains of US industry and the Obama administration that has vowed to make BP pay for the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.