India urged to issue global white paper on mining

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto : With the Karnataka mining scam making news in Canada, Indo-Canadian honchos have urged New Delhi to address concerns of foreign investors eyeing the Indian mining sector.

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Lack of information about policy goals and current negative news about this sector are not “the way to position India’s mining sector” in the global market, Hari Panday, who started the ICICI Bank in Canada, said.

Canada is the “mining guru of the world” and India should lose no time in explaining its mining policies to this country as well as Australia and South Africa, he said.

“Last year, 70 percent of the world’s mining funds were raised here at the Toronto Stock Exchange. India should issue a white paper at this mining centre of the world to tell global players about their mining policies. Carry out road shows across Canada to woo investors, professionals, regulators and stock exchanges which are clueless about Indian policies,” Panday who is currently president & CEO of Toronto-based PanVest Capital Corporation which promotes two-way investments between India and Canada, told IANS.

He said Indian mining delegations come here regularly each year, but “these visits are meaningless unless you tell global investors that India means business.”

The Kanpur-born honcho was also critical of Indian policies which create stumbling blocks for its companies trying to raise money abroad.

“Currently, any Indian company wishing to list on the Toronto stock exchange should be first listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Worse still, the BSE is not even an accredited exchange at the Toronto stock exchange. It means if Canadian investors buy and sell Indian equities, their capital gain is hundred percent taxable. This is not the way do business,” Panday said.

He said India should allow foreign investors to take their money back and forth.

Hemant Shah, sales director at the Canadian mining equipment leader Cubex Ltd., told IANS, “Canada can be India’s one-stop mining shop as it has the all global mining companies listed here. In Toronto, you can raise money not only from Canada, but also from all over the world.”

Shah, who has been selling mining equipment to India for three decades, said, “Indian bureaucrats come here, but they have failed to sell India. Instead, ministers should visit here to assure companies which are jittery about investing in India.”

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at [email protected])