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Swaraj Paul defends Mittal's bid for Arcelor

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Jalandhar, Feb 24 (UNI) London-based business magnate and Caparo Group (UK) Chairman Lord Swraj Paul today defended steel magnate L N Mittal's 23 billion dollar bid to take over Arcelor and regretted the involvement of the governments of some countries in the affair.

Talking to reporters here today Mr Paul, said it was really unfortunate that so many governments got themselves involved in it.

He said it was a commercial exercise and he is unable to understand why so many governments should get themselves into it.

Over the reported protest and opposition from trade unions and employees of the company against the proposed merger move, Mr Paul said it was not a great problem and a solution to the same could be reached through dialogue.

The Governments of some countries including, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have expressed their reservations and concern over the bid. French President Jacques Chirac, during his visit to India, has also termed Mr Mittal's bid as ''hostile''.

Mr Paul, however, praised the economic reform in India and said that the country's economy was growing well.

''India is emerging as a global power,'' he added.

He also expressed his willingness to expand the groups investment in the country, particularly in Punjab.

Mr Paul, who hails from Jalandhar, said that his group was looking at investment avenues in the state.

''We have invested in automobile sector in the country and may invest in Punjab if we get an appropriate opportunity,'' he added.

UNI SS PS MSJ KN1816

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