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India can attract $50 bn investment: Veerappa Moily, Oil Minister

Moily revealed that his assumption is based on solid facts. "My information is based on the first hand interaction with potential investors as corporate affairs minister," said Moily.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 29, 2012, 01.08 PM IST
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Moily revealed that his assumption is based on solid facts. "My information is based on the first hand interaction with potential investors as corporate affairs minister," said Moily.
Moily revealed that his assumption is based on solid facts. "My information is based on the first hand interaction with potential investors as corporate affairs minister," said Moily.
NEW DELHI: India can attract more than $50 billion investments including oil and gas sector, and the oil ministry's priority is to create conducive environment to tap investors through expeditious decisions on policy matters, M Veerappa Moily said after taking over as the third petroleum minister in the UPA-II.

Moily revealed that his assumption is based on solid facts. "My information is based on the first hand interaction with potential investors as corporate affairs minister," said Moily who has been shifted from the corporate affairs ministry to the oil Ministry in the recent cabinet reshuffle.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appointed Moily as oil ministry to instil confidence among Investors, after they expressed their worries over recent policy initiatives, which they perceived as regressive and ongoing spats between oil ministry and private firms including Reliance Industries, Cairn, Hardy and Eni, government officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Moily downplayed such assumptions saying that former oil minister Jaipal Reddy had done "wonderful job ... nothing is wrong about it." He said a change in portfolio does not reflect on performance. "This is the third (ministry) for me that does not mean I'm downgraded," he said. Moily was inducted in the UPA-II as the law minister before he was moved to the corporate affairs ministries.

Moily said he would have a cordial relationship with private energy firms who are helping in country's energy security . "The ministry will take decisions in the best interest of nation and other things are incidental," he said."

Prime Minister, who is concerned about rising oil import bills and ballooning fuel subsidy burden, wants Moily to ensure energy security of the country while shielding common man, the minister said. "PM is keen on direct transfer of subsidy though aadhar and that is the way forward," he said.

Moily said his focus is to increase efficiency so that there would not be leakage in subsidy distribution that would reduce pressure on the exchequer. "Money saved is dollar saved," he said. "But to protect common man diesel, PDS kerosene and LPG subsidy will continue," he added.

The new minister indicated that the petroleum ministry would take the government's economic reform agenda forward and encourage cash-rich state oil firms to invest. "I will be meeting PSU (public sector undertakings) chiefs, who are expected to invest Rs 450,000 crore in the 12 thPlan," he said.

He said quick decision-making will be his top priority. "Inefficiency has to be removed," he said.

"Our country cannot afford import dependence of 80% because this also impacts our inflation," he said. India produces 35.9 million metric tonnes of crude oil and 120 million standard cubic meters per day gas.

Shares of oil companies have shown an upward movement after Moily took over. Reliance Industries rose nearly 1.5% at Rs 811 per share in Mumbai. ONGC rose by 1% at Rs 275.45 and Cairn India by 0.5% up at Rs 335.5.

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