Bad policy deters investors

Vol 13, PW 9 (08 Oct 09) News in Brief

Don’t blame the Ambani feud, or global recession for the imminent NELP-VIII debacle, argues a major foreign oil company country head in India.

Blame instead bad government policy. “If there’s a consistent policy framework clearly in place, and the right signals are sent out,â€‌ he argues, “investors will come in droves.

â€‌ To him, the main turn-off is the total disconnect between official policy and practice, as evident in the government taking control of the supply and pricing of D6 gas, in flagrant disregard of marketing freedom promised in the PSC. “NELP contracts assure marketing and pricing freedom,â€‌ he says.

“But the reality is completely different. There’s a whole big list of priority gas users.

There’s total uncertainty between the PSC and actual practice. The operator is left with no freedom, either on customers or pricing.

â€‌ If overseas investors see, “clear, unambiguous contracts that will be respected and applied,â€‌ he says, “they will come to invest.â€‌ Is the oil ministry listening