Vedanta Chairman Shri Anil Agarwal’s Statement on India’s natural resources sector

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Vedanta Chairman Shri Anil Agarwal

“India can produce Oil at 1/4th of import price similar to Cairn providing Oil at $26 to the government. India is a powerhouse of talent and on the path of making advances in the world of technology, research, and innovation. Our economic growth is powered by a combination of legacy industries and start-ups. Encouraging our start-ups & entrepreneurs to put their energy into the work without fear and hurdles will create massive jobs and massive revenue for the government. They can be encouraged to do exploration with the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics, by receiving funding from private equity and selling their licenses post-discovery. This can also lead to affordable Oil & Gas in India in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision.

Pitching India as a global destination for investment, the Hon’ble Prime Minister had mentioned that India is replacing red tape with a red carpet. This is the time when all the mine leases should be for a minimum of 50 years so that Indian and foreign companies can plan and execute well. All existing mines, which were explored by the private sector but where work has been stopped, should be given back to them. If the government wants more revenue, it can increase duties and royalties, if justifiable but we cannot afford to stop production. A well-functioning mines and minerals sector will have a big role to play if we want to realize our dream of not just $5 trillion but a $15-20 trillion economy in the next two decades. Further, we must move to a system of self-certification and that alone has the potential to raise production by 2-3 times.

It is becoming critical for India to liberalize its exploration and production policy for a wide range of metals, rare metals, minerals, and hydrocarbons. India is gifted with significant reserves of metals and minerals but it’s ironic that we continue to pay a hefty import bill year after year. All these metals have a crucial role to play in the coming decades because of their widespread application in building cutting-edge technologies. Robust domestic production will also insulate us from any global crisis, encourage entrepreneurship, create a large number of jobs and create a vibrant ecosystem

The valuation of Government listed companies can be increased by 10 times by both privatizing some companies and corporatizing others because our PSUs are endowed with not just good assets but strong human capital as well. While 20% of companies can be privatized, the rest, including defense factories, should be corporatized with the condition that there will be no job loss, and no one will be allowed to hold more than 5% share. This will broaden base holding and usher in professionalism while running the company. This model has already been a success in the US and the western world. As our Prime Minister has said that Government has no business being in business, privatizing or corporatizing the tourism sector will also create massive employment and attract 10 times more tourists to India. Tourists can increase from 15-20 million to about 100 million every year.”

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