Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon'ble Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas has underscored the need for stronger economic and strategic cooperation between India and UAE.
Addressing the eminent industry captains in Dubai today Sh Pradhan said India-UAE trade has increased phenomenally in the last half a century. The trade, valued at US$ 180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around US$60 billion making UAE, India's third largest trading partner since 2014-15, he said.
There is an estimated US$8 billion UAE investment in India of which around US$3.13 billion is in the form of foreign direct investment, while the remaining is portfolio investment and UAE is the eleventh biggest investor in India in terms of FDI On energy front, Shri Pradhan said India genuinely believes that there is potential to transform the buyer-seller relationship with UAE in energy into a genuine energy partnership.
Shri Pradhan, who has been accompanied by the CEOs of India's Fortune 500 companies like Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL said India today provides the best investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
In petroleum sector the Government has allowed 100% FDI in all segments including exploration, production, refineries, pipelines, marketing, etc. We are keen to make India's oil & gas sector fair, transparent and attractive for domestic and foreign investors through appropriate policy, regulatory and fiscal interventions, he noted.
He further informed the gathering that the Government has recently announced Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) to streamline the Award of Hydrocarbon Acreages with New Contractual System and Fiscal Model. Highlighting the major points in HELP he said the operator can now explore and produce conventional as well as un-conventional hydrocarbon such as CBM, Shale etc. under a single license.
This policy has many fiscal incentives such as pricing and marketing freedom of crude oil and natural gas, reduced royalty rates for offshore areas.This policy envisages significant reduction in administrative discretion through greater freedom to the operator and increased transparency.
Shri Pradhan also mentioned that there is a plethora of opportunities which include investment of around $ 700 million for a 44% stake in ONGC Petro Additions Ltd in Gujarat which is a petrochemical project; $ 200 million for 24% stake in Bharat Oman Refinery in Madhya Pradesh, $ 530 to $ 850 million in a petrochemicals project of HPCL and GAIL in Andhra Pradesh.
Shri Pradhan, who begun his two-day visit of UAE also inaugurated the Make in India Pavilion at the Annual Investment Meet held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The Pavilion, organised by DIPP and FICCI drew participation from about 25 top indian companies. Mr Pradhan later visited the Jabel Ali Free Zone and met Indian investors there.
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