agarwal:  Geopolitical state makes self-reliance key: Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal - Times of India

agarwal: Geopolitical state makes self-reliance key: Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Amid the spike in global commodity prices, if there is one Indian businessman who is laughing his way to the bank, he is Vedanta group chairman Anil Agarwal.
“There has been an increase on the input side too, but our balance sheet will be better,” he told TOI. Agarwal has interests in aluminium, silver, zinc, oil, iron ore and steel, commodities where prices have soared following Russia’s attack on Ukraine last month.
But the flip side of the tension is that his plans to take over state-run BPCL and Shipping Corporation via the government’s disinvestment programme will get delayed further, although he has lined up investors, largely sovereign wealth funds.
“We have not heard anything. I don’t know the reason. Once we get some clarity, we will be able to put together the structure (for the transactions),” said Agarwal, who is currently in London.
During an interaction with TOI in October, he had spoken of a $10-billion fund, with participation from sovereign funds.
Agarwal’s outfits had bagged Balco and Hindustan Zinc during the privatisation exercise at the start of the millennium, with latter still being in the midst of court cases.
Vedanta is planning to stay away from investing in BPCL and looking to be responsible for managing the company, an arrangement that his partners are comfortable with, he said, while seeking a major push to the process.
“Time is of essence,” Agarwal said, while also advocating a special drive for domestic mining, which he said will help generate economic activity, create jobs, fetch revenue and also keep inflation under check.
“The geo-political situation is such that self-reliance is very important. We have enough resources, human resources and natural resources. How fast we can implement some of the ideas that PM (Narendra Modi) has is crucial,” he said.
Vedanta, which has tied up with Foxconn for manufacturing chips as well as glass as part of a $20-billion move, is scouting for locations for its proposed facility, which will be part of the government production-linked-incentive (PLI) scheme. “We will get the money in phases, may be, $2 billion in the first phase,” Agarwal said.


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