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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thar coal: Pakistan turns down Indian businessman investment proposal

Tue, December 6, 2011

Pakistan has turned down a proposal by an Indian businessman to invest in the Thar coal project, an official source told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

A senior official of the Government of Sindh, also associated with the Thar coal project, on the condition of anonymity told The Express Tribune that the offer was made by Indian industrial tycoon Lakshmi Mittal’s company and was brokered through a consultant firm in Dubai.

The investment offer was reportedly above $2 billion.

In the offer, it was said that the coal obtained from Thar would be used by the company ArcelorMittal’s steel plants situated in India and other countries.

The official said that the reason why ArcelorMittal expressed interest in the project was the low rate of the coal.

“Indian demand for coal is increasing rapidly and Thar coal can be a cheap source of energy for Indian industries,” the official said.

The reason for rejecting the offer, according to the official, was sensitive relations between the two countries.

Officially there is no ban on cross border investment between Pakistan and India but there is a lack of confidence on the part of investors.

“We can attract a lot of investment from India if we are able to hold an investment conference in India,” the official said.

The official also added that India had a vast experience in the coal sector and it would be a “win win situation” for both the countries.


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