New DelhI: Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India has invited Australian companies to invest in the hydrocarbon sector in India.
The Minister was speaking at the India-Australia Business Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Australian Trade Commission in New Delhi.
Robb was accompanied by a 450 member strong business delegation from Australia for the Summit. According to the Minister, the government was taking bold and innovative measures to take India to a higher growth path.
He stated that oil and gas featured among the 25 sectors that were shortlisted for the Make in India initiative. This the Minister stated that the Government of India has also announced that it would be pursuing a policy of “Power for All” by 2019.
In addition, the process of auctioning coal blocks was under way, environment laws and regulations were being simplified and diesel prices had been deregulated. These measures, he hoped would make doing business in the hydrocarbon sector more attractive.
He felt that Australian companies could also invest in the mining sector in India, metals, geo-scientific research, exploration of coal-bed methane. He also encouraged Indian companies to invest in Australian LNG projects.
In his address, Andrew Robb, AO, MP, Minister of Trade and Investment, Government of Australia, stated that Australia can help India achieve energy security. In this context, he cited the recently project of Adani Mining in Queenland which he stated would yield about 60 million tonnes of coal per annum.
He also mentioned that Australia could help India diversify its energy basket by providing access to fuels such as LNG. In terms of areas of cooperation, he cited the areas of mining and minerals and agri and food processing industries.
He pointed out that Australian banks and pension funds have over AUS$ 3 trillion under management some of which could be invested in India. Robb observed that around 300,000 Indians were studying in Australia. He stated that the new Colombo Plan announced by his government would encourage more Australians to study in countries like India.
Robb stated that his Government had accorded high priority to concluding the Australia India FTA and hoped that it would be concluded this year itself. Speaking at the Summit, N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh stated that Andhra Pradesh could be Australia’s gateway into India.
According to the Chief Minister, it was his Government’s objective to convert Andhra Pradesh into a logistics hub in India. In this regard he cited the construction of four ports in his state as a part of the Sagarmala Project of th central government.
Inviting Australian companies to invest in Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu stated that his objective was to make the state one of the top 20 places in terms of ease of doing business. He stated that his government was committed to providing all clearances for a project within 21 days and would be transitioning to a new E-biz portal very soon.
According to Michael Bruce Baird, MP, Premier, New South Wales, Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Western Sydney stated that the two countries could work together in areas such as infrastructure development, promoting two way tourism as well as skill development in India.