Govt Committee soon for faster acquisitions of mineral assets
December, 09th 2010
To help public sector companies acquire global mineral assets without delays, the government would soon set up a Committee, chaired by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, which would help formulate a policy to fast track finalisation of bids.
"Broadly, the idea is to enable PSUs (Public Sector Units) to finalise their bids rapidly, to set up a fast track Committee to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary," DPE Secretary Bhaskar Chatterjee told PTI.
The move is aimed at fighting competition from its neighbour 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.
"We are outbid by private and international players, especially China," Chatterjee said.
In the past, companies like Coal India, NTPC, SAIL have evinced interest in acquiring coal mines abroad to secure its fuel supplies.
The country's largest power generation company, NTPC is looking at picking up stakes in coal blocks in Indonesia, Australia and Africa.
"Any kind of policy by the government to streamline the process is welcome," CMD NTPC Arup Roy Choudhary said.
World's largest coal producer Coal India is also in talks with 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.