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PSUs' overseas investment on fast-track approval

The govt is considering fast track approval of PSUs' proposals for overseas investments.

News18test sharma |

Updated:February 4, 2011, 11:07 AM IST
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PSUs' overseas investment on fast-track approval
The govt is considering fast track approval of PSUs' proposals for overseas investments.

New Delhi: The government is mulling over a fast track approval of PSUs' proposals for acquisition of natural resources like oil, coal and mines overseas, without going to the Cabinet, a top official said.

An empowered committee headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar will be put in place for clearing the PSUs' projects for acquisitions of strategic assets abroad,Secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE)

Bhaskar Chatterjee told PTI.

"Secretaries of the administrative ministry (in charge)of PSU, its Chairman and Managing Director and representatives of ministries of external affairs, law and finance will be on the empowered committee," he said. Chatterjee said that once the fast track mechanism is in place, the government-owned companies, particularly in the strategic areas of coal, oil and mines will be able to seek approval for investment abroad directly from the high-powered committee within three weeks.

"They will take the proposals directly to this committee. They don't have to go through the process of referring their proposals to the ministry," he said, adding that under the present dispensation it may take up to six months for the

approval.

He said, the proposal for setting up of the empowered committee would soon be taken to Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel. The mechanism, to be approved by the Cabinet, is likely to be in place in the next three to four weeks, Chatterjee added.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said on December 15 that the government is working on a policy to encourage the public sector units to scout for raw material strategic assets abroad. The move is aimed at fighting competition from the neighbouring country China. Besides, it would help in providing a cushion to the PSUs to fight competition, posed by private companies in India looking at similar opportunities overseas.

World's largest coal producer Coal India is also in talks with the US-based Peabody Energy and Massey Energy for stakes in the mines owned by these companies. State-run steel major SAIL along with NTPC, Coal India,

Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) is also scouting for coal mines in Australia and other coal-rich nations by forming a joint venture company - International Coal Ventures Ltd.

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