Govt pulling all stops to woo foreign investors

  • Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 18, 2013 00:57 IST

The government is clearly making all out efforts to woo back global investors into the country’s energy sector and drive India’s growth story.

Government officials said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has taken the lead. Detailed parleys are being held at the highest level to woo foreign investors through road shows and detailed presentations are being given on India’s growth story and on some of the big ticket investment projects in the energy sector.

Personal invitations are being extended to top ministers across the world to visit India along with their business community. Bilateral communications are also being made with cash-rich Gulf nations to attract investments from their sovereign wealth funds into India’s infrastructure projects.

At a recent inter-ministerial meeting at the PMO, it was decided that a portfolio of investment proposals should be sent to Gulf countries including Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Officials said a bouquet of concrete investment proposals, including PSU disinvestment, infrastructure funds and big ticket energy and infrastructure projects are being offered.

Minister for petroleum and natural gas M Veerappa Moily has also been holding talks with top ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf nations, apart from energy-rich Latin American nations such as Venezuela, and various African nations.

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Moily told HT that while he agrees that policy uncertainty can deter investors, much can still be done to rope in investors.

“The oil and gas sector in India welcomes the world with open arms. Equally, we stand ready to do our share for the promotion of the global oil economy... this calls for mutual interdependence through mutual investments in each other’s countries by oil producer and consumer nations of the world,” said a note prepared by the petroleum ministry for Moily’s meet with the top hierarchy of some Gulf nations.

The power ministry recently held road shows in Singapore. It also held talks with ambassadors and senior diplomats from 12 countries — Germany, France, the UK, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Australia, Israel, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden — in the Capital to invite participation in two big ticket power projects worth Rs. 50,000 crore in Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

Moreover, investors who have announced they are pulling out from India are being wooed to reconsider. For instance, BHP Billiton, which walked out of nine oil and gas blocks in the country, got a letter from the petroleum ministry requesting top officials to come to India so that pending issues could be sorted out.

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